Skip to main content

Full text of "Out of the Vapors: A Social and Architectural History of Bathhouse Row"

See other formats


3 



PUB! r 



out of the vapors: 

a social and architectural history of bathhouse row 



. JEM 



&UG 1U 1988 

CLEMS0N 
UBRARX 




NATIONAL PARK / ARKANSAS 



RECOMMENDED: 

John W. Bright 

Assistant Manager, Central Team, Denver Service Center December 12, 1986 

Roger F. Giddings 

Superintendent, Hot Springs National Park October 26, 1987 



APPROVED: 

John E. Cook 

Regional Director, Southwest Region October 26, 1987 



OUT OF THE VAPORS: 
A SOCIAL AND ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY OF BATHHOUSE ROW 



HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK 
Arkansas 



by 

John C. Paige 
and 
Laura Soulliere Harrison 



U.S. Department of the Interior / National Park Service 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation 



http://www.archive.org/details/outofvaporssociaOOpaig 



CONTENTS 



Preface 



Page 



VII 



1. THE SPA INDUSTRY IN WORLD PERSPECTIVE 



THE HISTORY OF SPAS . 

Prehistoric Bathing . 

Bathing in Greek and Roman Times 

Bathing in Medieval Times 

Bathing in the 18th Century 

Bathing in 19th and 20th Century America 

THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SPAS 
Spas in Colonial America .... 
Bathing in 19th and 20th Century America 
Notes from Chapter 1 



1 
1 
2 
5 
6 
7 

11 
11 
11 
15 



THE HISTORY OF BATHING AT HOT SPRINGS, ARKANSAS, 
UNTIL THE CIVIL WAR 



THE NATURAL SETTING 

Geology ........ 

Flora and Fauna ...... 

PREHISTORY AT THE HOT SPRINGS 

EUROPEAN DISCOVERY OF THE HOT SPRINGS 
Possible Discovery of the Hot Springs by Soto 
Spanish and French Exploration and Claims after 
the Soto Expedition ..... 

AMERICAN EXPLORATION AND SETTLEMENT. 

The Hunter and Dunbar Expedition . 

Other Early Accounts of the Hot Springs and Settlement 

Transfer of the Hot Springs to the United States Government 

in 1832 

Bathhouse Row in the 1830s .... 
Bathhouse Row in the 1840s and 1850s . 

Notes from Chapter 2 . . . 



19 
19 
20 

21 

23 
23 

25 

27 
27 
29 

32 
33 
35 
37 



in 



3. THE EVOLUTION OF BATHING AND MEDICAL PRACTICES 
AT HOT SPRINGS IN THE 19TH AND 20TH CENTURIES 



Page 



BATHING PRACTICES OVER THE YEARS 
Bathing Procedures in the 19th Century . 
Bathing Procedures in the 20th Century . 

MEDICINAL ASPECTS OF BATHING. 

Joint and Skin Disease Treatment 

Treatment of Venereal Disease .... 

Treatment of Diseases of the Stomach, Heart, Liver, Kidney, 

and Intestines at Hot Springs 
Miscellaneous Diseases Treated at Hot Springs 
Medical Equipment and Techniques Used at Hot Springs 
Notes from Chapter 3 



45 
45 
49 

54 
54 
57 

60 
61 
62 
64 



4. THE HISTORY OF HOT SPRINGS 
FROM THE CIVIL WAR TO THE PRESENT 



HOT SPRINGS DURING THE CIVIL WAR . 

THE HOT SPRINGS COMMISSION 
Conditions Before 1877 .... 
Establishment of the Hot Springs Commission 

HOT SPRINGS IN 1878 .... 

HOT SPRINGS IN THE 1880s AND 1890s . 

BATHHOUSE ROW FROM 1900 TO 1919 . 

BATHHOUSE ROW 1920-1945 

BATHHOUSE ROW AFTER WORLD WAR II 
Notes from Chapter 4 



71 

72 
72 
73 

76 

77 

85 

92 

101 
103 



THE HOT SPRINGS SPA INDUSTRY AND BATHHOUSE ROW 



DEVELOPMENT OF THE THERMAL WATER DISTRIBUTION 
SYSTEM AND CREEK ARCH 

Early Thermal Water Distribution System of Pools and Troughs 

Development of the Thermal Water Distribution Systems 

in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries .... 

Development of Creek Arch ....... 



109 
109 

110 
120 



IV 



Page 



ECONOMICS OF THE BATHING INDUSTRY 
Economics of the Baths .... 
The Plight of the Poor .... 

MINORITIES AND THE BATHING INDUSTRY 
Blacks ....... 

Other Minority Groups .... 

Notes from Chapter 5 



125 
125 
129 

135 
135 
138 
140 



6. PROMOTIONAL AND ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES, DISASTERS, 
SOCIAL LIFE, AND RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES 
OF THE HOT SPRINGS SPA INDUSTRY 



TRANSPORTATION AND THE OPENING OF HOT SPRINGS 
TO THE WORLD .... 



PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES 
ILLEGAL PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES 
OTHER CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES 
NATURAL AND MAN-MADE DISASTERS 
SOCIAL LIFE IN HOT SPRINGS 
RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES . 



CELEBRITIES AT HOT SPRINGS 
Notes from Chapter 6 



151 

152 

157 

162 

164 

165 

167 

171 
173 



7. SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS OF THE HOT SPRINGS 181 

Notes from Chapter 7 ...... 186 



8. THE BATHHOUSES 
Notes from Chapter 8 



189 
196 



9. THE DESIGNERS 

MANN AND STERN 197 

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE DESIGNERS 200 

OTHERS 201 

Notes from Chapter 9 203 



10. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 

FOR FUTURE RESEARCH .... 205 



Illustrations ........... 207 

Appendix: Memorandum on Ownership of Reservation Bathhouses 

from 1888 until 1891 289 

Bibliography 297 



VI 



PREFACE 



This special study was designed to answer specific historical and 
architectural questions posed by the staff of Hot Springs National Park 
and the Southwest Region. These questions formed the basis for this 
document. Additional material was used to place the study in an 
appropriate historical context. The first chapter is an effort to place the 
spa development at Hot Springs National Park in a broader context by 
giving an abbreviated general world history of spas with special emphasis 
on spa development in the United States. The second chapter presents a 
general history of the hot springs from prehistoric times to the present 
with special emphasis on the rise and decline of bathhouse row. The 
next several chapters are in-depth discussions of a series of topics 
related to the bathing industry at Hot Springs National Park. The topics 
discussed include the construction history of the thermal water 
distribution system and creek arch; bathing routines over the centuries; 
bathing as part of prescribed medical treatment for the cure of diseases; 
the financial aspects of the bathing industry; the treatment of the poor 
by private enterprise and the government; the treatment of minorities by 
private enterprise and the government; development of transportation to 
the hot springs; legal and illegal promotional activities of the hot springs 
and their medical benefits; criminal activity that took place around the 
hot springs; fires and floods in the community surrounding the hot 
springs; the social and recreational activities at the hot springs; 
scientific investigations of the hot springs; the architecture of the 
bathhouses; and biographies of the bathhouse designers. These topics 
provide the framework for discussion of the myriad of human activities 
and uses of the thermal water at Hot Springs National Park. 

The document represents the combined efforts of John Paige and Laura 
Soulliere Harrison. Chapters 1 through 3 and 5 through 7 are primarily 
the work of Mr. Paige. Ms. Harrison supplied considerable architectural 
information and wrote portions of chapters 1 and 2. Ms. Harrison is the 
primary author for chapters 4, 8, and 9 and is responsible for the 
illustrations and captions. 



VII 



The authors wish to thank the following individuals and institutions for 
their assistance in the completion of this study: National Park Service 
Chief Historian Edwin C. Bearss; Joel Kussman, Chief, Branch of 
Planning, Central Team, Denver Service Center; Ronald W. Johnson, 
Section Chief of Planning, Central Team, Denver Service Center; Richard 
C. Steeves, Project Manager, Central Team, Denver Service Center; 
Diane Rhodes, Archeologist, Western Team, Denver Service Center; Ruth 
Larison, Librarian, Rocky Mountain Region, National Park Service; Joan 
Manson, Janet Stickland, Christy Fischer, and Kay Roush, National Park 
Service, Denver Service Center; Roger Giddings, Superintendent, Hot 
Springs National Park; Hugh Crenshaw, Management Assistant, Hot 
Springs National Park; Earl Adams, Chief, Division of Interpretation, Hot 
Springs National Park; Paul Sullivan, Ranger, Interpretation Division, Hot 
Springs National Park; Rod Harris, Chief Ranger, Hot Springs National 
Park; Joseph Sanchez, Chief, Spanish Colonial Research Center, 
Southwest Region and the staff of the University of Colorado Library, 
Boulder, Colorado; Arkansas State Historic Preservation Office, Little 
Rock, Arkansas; Garland County Historical Society, Hot Springs, 
Arkansas; Arkansas History Commission, Little Rock, Arkansas; special 
collections of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, 
Arkansas; the Arkansas Territorial Restoration, Little Rock, Arkansas; 
and the National Park Service, Southwest Region. 



VIII 



CHAPTER 1: THE SPA INDUSTRY IN WORLD PERSPECTIVE 



THE HISTORY OF SPAS 

Prehistoric Bathing 

At the beginning of the 20th century, promoters of the spa at Hot 
Springs, Arkansas, claimed that the bathhouses there served people from 
around the world and that the curative abilities of that southern spa's 
waters were of worldwide renown. These claims, however, require 
careful analysis to evaluate their validity and to properly understand the 
place of Hot Springs in the broader context of European and United 
States spa history. 

The practice of traveling to hot or cold springs in hopes of effecting a 
cure of some ailment dates to prehistoric times. Archeological 
investigations near hot springs in France and Czechoslovakia revealed 
Bronze Age weapons and offerings. In Great Britain, ancient legend 
credited early Celtic kings with the discovery of the hot springs at Bath, 
England. 

Many European, Mideastern, African, Australian, North American, South 

American, Central American, and Asian peoples believed that bathing in a 

particular spring, well, or river resulted in physical and spiritual 

purification. Forms of ritual purification existed among the native 

Americans, Persians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. 

Today, ritual purificiation through water can be found in the religious 

ceremonies of Jews, Mohammedans, Christians, Buddhists, and Hindus. 

These ceremonies reflect the ancient beliefs in the healing and purifying 

i 
properties of water. Complex bathing rituals were also practiced in 

ancient Egypt, in prehistoric cities of the Indus Valley, and in Aegean 

civilizations. Most often these ancient people did little building 

construction around the water, and what they did construct was very 

temporary in nature. 



Bathing in Greek and Roman Times 

Some of the earliest written descriptions of western bathing practices 
came from Greece. The Greeks began bathing regimens that formed the 
foundation for modern spa procedures. These Aegean people utilized 
small bathtubs, washbasins, and footbaths for personal cleanliness. They 
established public baths and showers within their gymnasium complexes 
for relaxation and personal hygiene. Greek mythology specified that 
certain natural springs or tidal pools were blessed by the gods to cure 
disease. Around these sacred pools, Greeks established bathing facilities 
for those desiring healing. Supplicants left offerings to the gods of 
healing at these sites and bathed themselves in hopes of a cure. The 
Spartans developed a primitive vapor bath. At Serangeum, an early 
Greek balneum (bathhouse, loosely translated), bathing chambers were 
cut into the hillside from which the hot springs issued. A series of 
niches cut into the rock above the chambers held bathers' clothing. One 
of the bathing chambers had a decorative mosaic floor depicting a driver 
and chariot pulled by four horses, a woman followed by two dogs, and a 
dolphin below. Thus, the early Greeks used the natural features, but 
expanded them and added their own amenities, such as decorations and 

shelves. During later Greek civilization, bathhouses were often built in 

2 
conjunction with athletic fields. 

The Romans emulated many of the Greek bathing practices. Romans 
surpassed the Greeks in the size and complexity of their baths. As in 
Greece, the Roman bath became a focal center for social and recreational 
activity. As the Roman Empire expanded, the idea of the public bath 
spread to all parts of the Mediterranean and into regions of Europe and 
North Africa. With the construction of the aqueducts, the Romans had 
enough water not only for domestic, agricultural, and industrial 
purposes, but ak.o for their leisurely pursuits. The aqueducts provided 
water that was later heated for use in the baths. Today, the extent of 
the Roman bath is revealed at ruins and in archeological excavations in 
Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. 



These Roman baths varied from simple to exceedingly elaborate 
structures, and they varied in size, arrangement, and decoration. In 
taking a Roman bath, the bather induced sweating by gradually exposing 
himself to increasing temperatures. To accommodate this ritual, all Roman 
bathhouses contained a series of rooms which got progressively hotter. 
Most contained an apodyterium --a room just inside the entrance where the 
bather stored his clothes. Next, the bather progressed into the 
frigidarium (cold room) with its tank of cold water, the tepidarium (warm 
room), and finally the caldarium (hot room). The caldarium , heated by a 
brazier underneath the hollow floor, contained cold-water basins which 
the bather could use for cooling. After taking this series of sweat 
and/or immersion baths, the bather returned to the cooler tepidarium for 
a massage with oils and final scraping with metal implements. Some baths 
also contained a laconicum (a dry, resting room) where the bather 
completed the process by resting and sweating. 

The layout of Roman baths contained other architectural features of note. 

Because wealthy Romans brought slaves to attend to their bathing needs, 

the bathhouse usually had three entrances: one for men, one for women, 

and one for slaves. The preference for symmetry in Roman architecture 

usually meant a symmetrical facade, even though the women's area was 

usually smaller than the men's area because of fewer numbers of patrons. 

Usually solid walls or placement on opposite sides of the building 

separated the men's and men's sections. Roman bathhouses often 

contained a courtyard, or palestra , which was an open-air garden used 

for exercise. In some cases the builders made the palestra an interior 

courtyard, and in other cases the builders placed the palestra in front of 

the bathhouse proper and incorporated it into the formal approach. 

Sometimes the palestra held a swimming pool. Most often a colonnade 

3 
outlined the palestra's edges. 

Roman bathhouses offered amenities in addition to the bathing ritual. 
Ancillary spaces in the bathhouse proper housed food- and 
perfume-selling booths, libraries, and reading rooms. Stages 

accommodated theatrical and musical performances. Adjacent stadia 



provided spaces for exercise and athletic competitions. Inside the 
bathhouses proper, marble mosaics tiled the elegant floors. The stuccoed 
walls frequently sported frescoes of trees, birds, and other pastoral 
images. Sky-blue paint, gold stars, and celestial imagery adorned 
interior domes. Statuary and fountains decorated the interior and 
exterior. 

The Romans also developed baths in their colonies, taking advantage of 

the natural hot springs occurring in Europe to construct baths at Aix and 

Vichy in France, Bath and Buxton in England, Aachen and Weisbaden in 

West Germany, Baden in Austria, and Aquincum in Hungary, among other 

locations. These baths became centers for recreational and social 

activities in Roman communities. Libraries, lecture halls, gymnasiums, 

and formal gardens became part of some bath complexes. In addition, the 

Romans used the hot thermal waters to relieve their suffering from 

rheumatism, arthritis, and overindulgence in food and drink. The decline 

of the Roman Empire in the west, beginning in A.D. 337 after the death 

of Emperor Constantine, resulted in Roman legions abandoning their 

outlying provinces and leaving the baths to be taken over by the local 

4 
population or destroyed. 

Thus, the Romans elevated bathing to a fine art, and their bathhouses 
physically reflected these advancements. The Roman bath, for instance, 
included a far more complex ritual than a simple immersion or sweating 
procedure. The various parts of the bathing ritual--undressing, 
bathing, sweating, receiving a massage, and resting — required separated 
rooms which the Romans built to accommodate those functions. The 
segregation of the sexes and the addition of diversions not directly 
related to bathing also had direct impacts on the shape and form of 
bathhouses. The elaborate Roman bathing ritual and its resultant 
architecture served as precedents for later European and American 
bathing facilities. Formal garden spaces and opulent architectural 
arrangement equal to those of the Romans reappeared in Europe by the 
end of the eighteenth century. Major American spas followed suit a 
century later. 



Bathing in Medieval Times 

With the decline of the Roman Empire, the public baths often became 
places of licentious behavior, and such use was responsible for the 
spread rather than the cure of diseases. A general belief developed 
among the European populace was that frequent bathing promoted disease 
and sickness. Medieval church authorities encouraged this belief and 
made every effort to close down public baths. Ecclesiastical officials 
believed that public bathing created an environment open to immorality 
and disease. Roman Catholic Church officials even banned public bathing 
in an unsuccessful effort to halt syphilis epidemics from sweeping Europe. 
Overall, this period represented a time of decline for public bathing. 

People continued to seek out a few select hot and cold springs, believed 
to be holy wells, to cure various ailments. In an age of religious fervor, 
the benefits of the waters were attributed to God or one of the saints. 
In 1326 Collin le Loup, an ironmaster from Liege, Belgium, discovered the 
chalybeate springs of Spa in Belgium. Around these springs, a famous 
health resort eventually grew and the term "spa" came to refer to any 
health resort located near natural springs. During this period, individual 
springs became associated with the specific ailment that they could 
allegedly benefit. 

Bathing procedures during this period varied greatly. By the 16th 
century, physicians at Karlsbad, Bohemia, prescribed that the mineral 
water be taken internally as well as externally. Patients periodically 
bathed in warm water for up to 10 or 11 hours while drinking glasses of 
mineral water. The first bath session occurred in the morning, and the 
second commenced in the afternoon. This treatment lasted several days 
until skin pustules formed and broke resulting in the draining of 
"poisons" considered to be the source of the disease. Then followed 
another series of shorter, hotter baths to wash the infection away and 
close the eruptions. 



Bathing in the 18th Century 

In the 17th century most upper-class Europeans washed their clothes with 
water often and washed only their faces (with linen), feeling that bathing 
the entire body was a lower-class activity; but the upper-class slowly 
began changing their attitudes toward bathing as a way to restore health 
later in that century. The wealthy flocked to health resorts to drink and 
bathe in the waters. In 1702 Queen Anne of England traveled to Bath, 
the former Roman development, to bathe. A short time later Richard 
(Beau) Nash came to Bath. Nash was a professional gambler with a great 
ability for promotion. By the force of his personality, Nash became the 
arbiter of good taste and manners in England. He along with financier 
Ralph Allen and architect John Wood transformed Bath from a country spa 
into the social capital of England. Bath set the tone for other spas in 
Europe to follow. Ostensibly, the wealthy and famous arrived there on a 
seasonal basis to bathe in and drink the water; however, they also came 
to display their opulence. Social activities at Bath included dances, 

o 

concerts, playing cards, lectures, and promenading down the street. 

A typical day in Bath might be an earl/ morning communal bath followed 

by a private breakfast party. Afterwards, one either drank water at the 

Pump Room (a building constructed over the thermal water source) or 

attended a fashion show. Physicians encouraged health resort patrons to 

bathe in and drink the waters with equal vigor. The next several hours 

of the day could be spent in shopping, visiting the lending library, 

attending concerts, or stopping at one of the coffeehouses. At 4:00 p.m. 

the rich and famous dressed up in their finery and promenaded down the 

streets. Next came dinner, more promenading, and an evening of 

9 
dancing or gambling. 

Similar activities occurred in health resorts throughout Europe. The spas 
became stages on which Europeans paraded with great pageantry. These 
resorts became infamous as places of gossip and scandals. The various 
social and economic classes selected specific seasons during the year's 



course, staying from one to several months, to vacation at each resort. 
One season aristocrats occupied the resorts; at other times, prosperous 
farmers or retired military men took the baths. The wealthy and the 

criminals that preyed on them moved from one spa to the next as the 

10 
fashionable season for that resort changed. 

During the 18th century a revival in the medical uses of spring water 
took place among some Italian, German, and English physicians. This 
revival changed the way of taking a spa treatment. For example, in 
Karlsbad the accepted method for drinking the mineral water required 
sending large water barrels to individual boardinghouses where the 
patients drank physician-prescribed dosages in the solitude of their 
rooms. Dr. David Beecher in 1777 recommended that the patients come to 
the fountainhead for the water and that each patient should first do some 
prescribed exercises. This innovation increased the medicinal benefits 
obtained and gradually physical activity became part of the European 
bathing regimen. In 1797 in England Dr. James Currier published The 
Effects of Water , Cold and Warm , as a Remedy m Fever and Other 
Diseases . This book stimulated additional interest in water cures and 

advocated the external and internal use of water as part of the curing 

11 
process. 



Bathing in the 19th and 20th Centuries 

In the 19th century, bathing became a more accepted practice as 
physicians realized some of the benefits that cleanliness could provide. A 
cholera epidemic in Liverpool, England in 1842 resulted in a sanitation 
renaissance--more people bathed and washed their clothes. That same 
year a house in Cincinnati, Ohio, received the first indoor bathtub in the 
United States. Bathing, however, was still not a universal custom. Only 
one year latei — in 1843—bathing between November 1 and March 15 was 
outlawed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as a health measure, and in 1845 
bathing was banned in Boston, Massachusetts, unless under the direct 
orders of a physician. The situation improved, however, and by 1867 in 



Philadelphia most houses of the well-to-do had tubs and indoor plumbing. 

In England, hot showers were installed in barracks and schools by the 

12 
1880s. The taboos against bathing disappeared with advancements in 

medical science; the worldwide medical community was even promoting the 

benefits of bathing. In addition, the Victorian taste for the exotic lent 

itself perfectly to seeking out the curative powers of thermal water. 



In most instances the formal architectural development of European spas 
took place in the 18th and 19th centuries. The architecture of Bath, 
England, developed along Georgian and Neoclassical lines, generally 
following Palladian structures. The most important architectural form that 

emerged was the "crescent"--a semi-elliptical street plan used in many 

13 
areas of England. The architecture of Karlsbad, Marienbad, 

Franzensbad, and Baden-Baden was primarily Neoclassical, but the 

literature seems to indicate that large bathhouses were not constructed 

until well into the 19th century. The emphasis on drinking the waters 

rather than bathing in them led to the development of separate structures 

known as Trinkhallen (drinking halls) where those taking the cure spent 

14 
hours drinking water from the springs. 

By the mid-19th century the situation had changed dramatically. Visitors 
to the European spas began to stress bathing in addition to drinking the 
waters. Besides fountains, pavilions, and Trinkhallen , bathhouses on the 
scale of the Roman baths were revived. Photographs of a 19th-century 
spa complex taken in the 1930s, detailing the earlier architecture, show a 
heavy use of mosaic floors, marble walls, classical statuary, arched 
openings, domed ceilings, segmental arches, triangular pediments, 
Corinthian columns, and all of the other trappings of a Neoclassical 
revival. The buildings were usually separated by function—with the 
Trinkhalle , the bathhouse, the inhalatorium (for inhaling the vapors), 
and the Kurhaus or Conversation haus that was the center of social 
activity. Baden-Baden featured golf courses and tennis courts, "superb 

roads to motor over, and drives along quaint lanes where wild deer are 

15 
as common as cows with us, and almost as unafraid." 



The European spa, then, started with structures to house the drinking 
function --from simple fountains to pavilions to elaborate Trinkhallen . The 
enormous bathhouses came later in the 19th century as a renewed 
preference for an elaborate bathing ritual to cure ills and improve health 
came into vogue. European architects looked back to Roman civilization 
and carefully studied its fine architectural precedents. The Europeans 
copied the same formality, symmetry, division of rooms by function, and 
opulent interior design in their bathhouses. They emulated the fountains 
and formal garden spaces in their resorts, and they also added new 
diversions. The tour books always mentioned the roomy, woodsy 
offerings in the vicinity and the faster-paced evening diversions. 

By the beginning of the 19th century the European bathing regimen 
consisted of numerous accumulated traditions. The bathing routine 
included soaking in hot water, drinking the water, steaming in a vapor 
room, and relaxing in a cooling room. In addition, doctors ordered that 
patients be douched with hot or cold water and given a select diet to 
promote a cure. Authors began writing guidebooks to the health resorts 
of Europe explaining the medical benefits and social amenities of each. 

Rich Europeans and Americans traveled to these resorts to take in 

1 fi 
cultural activities and the baths. 

Each European spa began offering similar cures while maintaining a 
certain amount of individuality. The 19th century bathing regimen at 
Karlsbad can serve as a general portrayal of European bathing practices 
during this century. Visitors arose at 6:00 a.m. to drink the water and 
be serenaded by a band. Next came a light breakfast, bath, and lunch. 
The doctors of Karlsbad usually limited patients to certain foods for each 
meal. In the afternoons visitors went sight-seeing or attended concerts. 
Nightly theatrical performances followed the evening meal. This ended 
around 9:00 p.m. with the patients returning to their boardinghouses to 
sleep until six the next morning. This regimen continued for as long as 

a month and then the patients returned home until the next year. Other 

17 
19th century European spa regimens followed similar schedules. 



At the beginning of the 20th century, European spas combined a strict 
diet and exercise regimen with a complex bathing procedure to achieve 
benefits for the patients. One example will suffice to illustrate the 
change in bathing procedures. Patients at Baden-Baden, which 
specialized in treating rheumatoid arthritis, were directed to see a doctor 
before taking the baths. Once this occurred the bathers proceeded to 
the main bathhouse where they paid for their baths and stored their 
valuables before being assigned a booth for undressing. The bathhouse 
supplied bathers with towels, sheets, and slippers. 

The Baden-Baden bathing procedure began with a warm shower. The 
bathers next entered a room of circulating, 140-degree hot air for 20 
minutes, spent another 10 minutes in a room with a 150-degree 
temperature, partook of a 154-degree vapor bath, then showered and 
received a soap massage. After the massage, the bathers swam in a pool 
heated approximately to body temperature. After the swim, the bathers 
rested for 15 to 20 minutes in the warm "Sprudel" room pool. This 
shallow pool's bottom contained an 8-inch layer of sand through which 
naturally carbonated water bubbled up. This was followed by a series of 
gradually cooler showers and pools. after that, the attendants rubbed 
down the bathers with warm towels and then wrapped them in sheets and 
covered them with blankets to rest for 20 minutes. This ended the 

bathing portion of the treatment. The rest of the cure consisted of a 

18 
prescribed diet, exercise, and water-drinking program. 

The European spas provided various other diversions for guests after the 
bath, including gambling, horse racing, fishing, hunting, tennis, 
skating, skiing, dancing, golf, and horseback riding. Sight-seeing and 
theatrical performances served as further incentives for people to go to 
the spa. Some European governments even recognized the medical 
benefits of spa therapy and paid a portion of the patient's expenses. A 
number of these spas catered to those suffering from obesity and 
overindulgence in addition to various other medical complaints. In recent 

years, elegance and style of earlier centuries may have diminished, but 

19 
people still come to the natural hot springs for relaxation and health. 



10 



THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SPAS 

Spas in Colonial America 

Some European colonists brought with them knowledge of the hot water 
therapy for medicinal purposes, and others learned the benefits of hot 
springs from the Indians. Europeans gradually obtained many of the hot 
and cold springs from the various Indian tribes. They then developed 
the spring to suit European tastes. By the 1760s British colonists were 
traveling to hot and cold springs in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New 
York, and Virginia in search of water cures. Among the more frequently 
visited of these springs were Bath, Yellow, and Bristol Springs in 
Pennsylvania; Saratoga Springs, Kinderhook, and Ballston Springs in New 

York; and Warm Springs, Hot Springs, and White Sulphur Springs (now 

20 
in West Virginia) in Virginia. 

Colonial doctors gradually began to recommend hot springs for ailments. 
Dr. Benjamin Rush, American patriot and physician, praised the healing 
virtues of the springs of Bristol, Pennsylvania, in 1773. Dr. Samuel 
Tenney in 1783 and Dr. Valentine Seaman in 1792 examined the water of 
Saratoga Springs in New York and wrote of possible medicinal uses for 
the springs. Hotels were constructed to accommodate visitors to the 
various springs. Entrepreneurs opened taverns where the travelers could 

lodge, eat, and drink. Thus began the health resort industry in the 

21 
United States. 



Bathing in 19th and 20th Century America 

After the American Revolution, the spa industry continued to gain 
popularity. By the 1850s hot and cold spring resorts existed in 20 
states. Many of these resorts contained similar architectural features. 
Most health resorts had a large, two-story central building near or at the 
springs, with smaller structures surrounding it. The main building 
provided the guests with facilities for dining and, possibly, dancing on 



11 



the first floor, and the second story consisted of sleeping rooms. The 

outlying structures were individual guest cabins, and other auxiliary 

22 
buildings formed a semicircle or U-shape around the large building. 



These resorts offered swimming, fishing, hunting, and horseback riding 
as well as facilities for bathing. The Virginia resorts, particularly White 
Sulphur Springs, proved popular before and after the Civil War. After 
the Civil War, spa vacations became very popular as returning soldiers 
bathed to heal wounds and the American economy allowed more leisure 
time. Saratoga Springs in New York became one of the main centers for 
this type of activity. Bathing in and drinking the warm, carbonated 

spring water only served as prelude to the more interesting social 

23 
activities of gambling, promenading, horse racing, and dancing. 

Saratoga Springs in New York had extensive architectural development by 
the 1830s--a time when the buildings of Hot Springs, Arkansas, were 
small log and frame structures without particularly distinctive 
detailing—just basic envelopes to keep occupants from the weather. By 
1815 Saratoga had large, four-story, Greek revival hotels. The 
availability of train and steamship service to that destination by 1832 
meant larger numbers of more sophisticated clientele. With the exception 
of specialized baths provided in boardinghouses or small bathhouses 
connected with the hotels, Saratoga's development during the 19th 
century was based on leisure pursuits other than baths. Although 
Saratoga and other spas in New York centered their developments around 
the healthful mineral waters, their real drawing card was the complex 
social life--that included pursuits from gambling on racehorses to seeing 
the latest Paris fashions. Going to the mountains for the summer was a 
major exodus undertaken by urban dwellers who could afford it, and 
Saratoga became a hub of summer activity. Private development there 
featured enormous hotels with great ballrooms, opera houses, stores, and 
clubhouses. In 1865 the Union Hotel had its own esplanade, with fountain 
and formal landscaping, and two small bathhouses. Yet, during the 19th 

century the bathhouses were auxiliary structures and not the central 

24 
features of the resort. 



12 



During the last half of the 19th century western entrepreneurs developed 
natural hot and cold springs into resorts--from the Mississippi River to 
the West Coast. Many of these spas offered individual tub baths, vapor 
baths, douche sprays, needle showers, and pool bathing to their guests. 
The various railroads that spanned the country promoted these resorts to 
encourage train travel. Hot Springs, Arkansas, became a major resort in 

the Midwest as the railroad opened up the Arkansas resort for people 

25 
from the large metropolitan areas of St. Louis and Chicago. 

The popularity of the spas continued into the 20th century. Some medical 
critics, however, charged that the thermal waters in such renowned 
resorts as Hot Springs, Virginia, and Saratoga Springs, New York, were 
no more beneficial to health than ordinary heated water. The various spa 
owners countered these arguments by developing better hydrotherapy for 
their patients. At the Saratoga spa, treatments for heart and circulatory 
disorders, rheumatic conditions, nervous disorders, metabolic diseases, 
and skin diseases were developed. In 1910 the New York state 
government began purchasing the principal springs to protect them from 
exploitation. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt was governor of New York, 
he pushed for a European type of spa development at Saratoga. The 
architects for the new complex spent two years studying the technical 
aspects of bathing in Europe. Completed in 1933, the development had 
three bathhouses—Lincoln, Washington, and Roosevelt--a drinking hall, 
the Hall of Springs, and a building housing the Simon Baruch Research 
Institute. Four additional buildings composed the recreation area and 
housed arcades and a swimming pool decorated with blue faience 
terra-cotta tile. Saratoga spa's Neoclassical buildings were laid out in a 
grand manner, with formal perpendicular axes, solid brick construction, 
and stone and concrete Roman-revival detailing. The spa was surrounded 
by a 1,200-acre natural park that had 18 miles of bridle paths, "with 
measured walks at scientifically calculated gradients through its groves 
and vales, with spouting springs adding unexpected touches to its vistas, 
with the tumbling waters of Geyser Brook flowing beneath bridges of the 
fine roads. Full advantage has been taken of the natural beauty of the 
park, but no formal landscaping." Promotional literature again advertised 



13 



the attractions directly outside the spa: shopping, horse races, and 
historic sites associated with revolutionary war history. New York 
Governor Herbert Lehman officially opened the new facilities to the public 
in July 1935. 26 

Other leading spas in the country during this period were French Lick, 
Indiana; Hot Springs and White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia; Hot 
Springs, Arkansas; and Warm Springs, Georgia. French Lick specialized 
in treating obesity and constipation through a combination of bathing in 
and drinking the water and exercising. Hot Springs, Virginia, 
specialized in digestive ailments and heart diseases, and White Sulphur 
Springs, Virginia, treated these ailments and skin diseases. Both resorts 
offered baths where the water would wash continuously over the patients 
as they lay in a shallow pool. Warm Springs, Georgia, gained a 
reputation for treating infantile paralysis by a procedure of baths and 

exercise. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who earlier supported 

27 
Saratoga, became a frequent visitor and promoter of this spa. 

By the late 1930s more than 2,000 hot- or cold-springs health resorts 
were operating in the United States. This number had diminished greatly 
by the 1950s and continued to decline in the following two decades. 
Today's spas emphasize dietary, exercise, or recreational programs more 
than traditional bathing activities. The public bathing industry remains 

stagnant, but companies selling the individual home spas attract a large 

28 
and growing market. 



14 



Notes from Chapter 1 



1. Alfred Martin, "On Bathing," Ciba Symposia 1 (August 1939): 
134-135; and John Hatton, comp., Bath : Britain's Historic Spa (n.p.:The 
Corporation of Bath, n.d.)/ p. 1." 

2. Martin, "On Bathing," pp. 139, 140-141; and Spyr P. Lambros, "The 
Serangeum in the Piraeus," The Athenaeum 109 (March 20, 1897): 
385-386. 

3. In the reign of Augustus Caesar women were not permitted to bathe 
with men, but later emperors permitted mixed bathing. Donald S. 
Robertson, Greek and Roman Architecture , (New York: Cambridge 
University Press, 1969), p. 243; Arthur Inkersley, "Bathing in Ancient 
Rome, and Its Effects on Roman Character," Education 16 (November 
1895): 134-137; Martin, "On Bathing," pp. 142-143; Robert H. Lowie, 
"Bathing Through the Ages," The American Mercury 15 (September 1928): 
62; and "The Bath Near Pompeii," The Athenaeum 104 (December 22, 
1894): 868. 

4. Martin, "On Bathing", pp. 137-144; Hatton, Bath pp. 2-6; 
Inkersley, "Bathing in Ancient and its effect on the Roman Character," 
pp. 134-140; Robertson, pp. 243-244, 258-262; and "Upon the Use of Hot 
Watei — With Special Reference to Hot Springs, Arkansas," Hot Springs 
Medical Journal 5 (December 1896): 397. 

5. Martin, "On Bathing", pp. 143-145. 

6. Ibid. Chalybeate refers to salt-free mineral water impregnated with 
iron. 

7. W. Fraser Rae, "Life at Bohemian Baths," Blackwood's Edinburgh 
Magazine 148 (October 1890): 516-517. 

8. Lowie, pp. 62-64; Louis Kronenberger, Kings and Desperate Men : 
Life in Eighteen-Century England (New York: Vintage Books, 1942), 
pp. 171-175; Pamela Steen, "Spas: Pleasure or Penance?," History Today 
31 (September 1981): 30-34; William Addison, English Spas (London: 
B.T. Batsford Ltd., 1951), p. 3; and Hatton, Bath , pp. 5-10. 

9. Kronenberger, Kings and Desperate Men , pp. 172-173. 

10. Ibid., pp. 174-175; and Steen, "Spas," pp. 30-35. 

11. Rae, "Life at Bohemian Baths," pp. 518-519; and Dian Dincin 
Buchman, The Complete Book of Water Therapy (New York: E.P. 
Dutton, 1979), p. 9. 

12. "Evolution of the Bath," Literary Digest , 89 (June 19, 1926): 46; 
and Martin, A., pp. 147-148. 



15 



13. Germain Bazin, The Baroque : Principles , Styles , Modes , Themes 
(Greenwich, Connecticut: New York Graphic Society, 1968), 
pp. 133, 320. 

14. Rae, "Life at Bohemian Baths," pp. 515-529. 

15. Mary Roberts Rinehart, "Taking the Cure in Europe," Saturday 
Evening Post , 205 (October 1, 1932): 6-7. 

16. Buchman, The Complete Book of Water Therapy , pp. 515-529; Steen, 
p. 35; "They Want the Earth," The Hot Springs Medical Journal 1 (May 
15, 1892): 91; and Addison, English Spas , p. 1. 

17. Rae, "Life at Bohemian Baths," pp. 520-521. 

18. "Baden-Baden," Spa Therapy File, Francis J. Scully Collection, Hot 
Springs National Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas (Typescript) (hereafter 
referred to as Scully Collection); Relief Health Through the Hot Springs 
of Baden-Baden , Scully Collection; Baden-Baden : Little Guide through 
the Grosse Gesellschaftsbad m the Friedrichsbad , Scully Collection. 

19. Emily Wilkens, Secrets from the Super Spas (New York: Grossett 
and Dunlap, 1976), pp. 118-135; Igho Hart Kornbleueh, Spas and Health 
Resorts in the U .S.S. R . (n.p.; Clinical Medicine Publications, Inc., 
1960), p. 1; Andrew Marton, "By the Waters of Budapest," The New 
York Times , February 26, 1984, sec. 20, p. 40; and "Schaftsbad in the 
Friedrichsbad," Scully Collection. 

20. Wilkens, Secrets from the Super Spas , pp. 118-135; New York 
Conservation Department, Saratoga Spa (State of New York Conservation 
Dept., Division of Saratoga Springs, 1941), p. 1; and Henry W. 
Lawrence, "Southern Spas: Source of American Resort Tradition" 
Bathhouse Row General File, Box 3, Diane Rhodes Collection, Hot Springs 
National Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas (hereafter referred to as Rhodes 
Collection). 

21. Walter S. McClellan, "American Spas and Organized Medicine," paper 
presented at the 5th annual meeting of the Association of American Spas, 
Marlin, Texas, 7 October 1959. 

22. The 20 states with spring resorts were New York, Vermont, New 
Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, 
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, 
Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Lawrence, 
Bathhouse Row General File, Rhodes Collection, pp. 1-2, 3-5; and William 
L. Whitwell and Lee W. Winborne, The Architectural Heritage of the 
Roanoke Valley (Charlottesville, Virginia: University of Virginia Press, 
1982), pp. 57-58. 

23. Stanley Frank Norsworthy, "Hot Springs, Arkansas: A Geographic 
Analysis of the Spa's Resort Service Area" (Ph.D. dissertation, 
University of California at Los Angeles, 1970), pp. 30-31; E. Merton 



16 



Coulter, A History of the South , ed. Wendell Holmes Stephenson, vol. 8: 
The South During Reconstruction 1865-1877 (Baton Rouge, Louisiana: 
Louisiana State University Press, 1947), 8:308; Larry Freeman, Spa Fever 
(Watkins Glen, New York: Century House Publishers, 1981), pp. 15, 27, 
47, 53; and New York Conservation Department, pp. 20-21. 

24. Freeman, pp. 1-56. 

25. Patricia Dean, "The True Carlsbad of America: The Hotel 
Broadwater and Natatorium of Helena, Montana," in Victorian Resorts and 
Hotels : Essays from a Victorian Society Autumn Symposium , ed. Richard 
Guy Wilson (n.p.: The Victorian Society in America, 1982), p. 80; Marie 
L. Ahearn, "Health Restoring Resorts on the New England Coast," in 
Victorian Resorts and Hotels : Essays from a Victorian Society Autumn 
Symposium , ed. Wilson, p. 41; "The Sutro Baths," Scientific American , 
July 23, 1898, p. 52; and F.W. Parsons, "Sutro Baths of San Francisco," 
Scientific American , 29 April 1899, p. 266. 

26. New York Conservation Department, pp. 1-32; Wood Hutchinson, 
"Taking the Waters: The Humbug of Hot Springs," Everybody's 
Magazine , February 1913, p. 169; "Saratoga Spa," Time , 5 August 1935, 
pp. 28-29; and "Saratoga: $8,500,000 Spent to Make N.Y. Spa World's 
Best," Newsweek , 3 August 1935, pp. 32-33. 

27. The spa treatment at Hot Springs, Arkansas, will be discussed later 
in this study. "Saratoga Spa," p. 28; and "Saratoga: $8,500,000 
Spent," pp. 32-33. 

28. Richard Kovas, "American Spas," 17 Hygeia , (March 1939): 208. 



17 



18 



CHAPTER 2: THE HISTORY OF BATHING AT HOT SPRINGS, 
ARKANSAS, UNTIL THE CIVIL WAR 



THE NATURAL SETTING 

Geology 

The hot springs of Hot Springs National Park are the result of complex 
natural geological processes. The park is in the Ouachita Mountains of 
central Arkansas. The topography of the park is mountain ridges 
running from east to west, intermontane basins, and the piedmont 
plateau. Hot Springs lies at the southern edge of these ridges. These 
mountains are mainly of sedimentary composition, encompassing geological 
formations from the Ordovician (440 million years ago) period and, 
possibly, as early as the Cambrian (470 million years ago) period. 
During most of the Paleozoic era (470 to 230 million years ago), what 
became the Ouachita Mountains lay submerged under an ancient shallow 
sea that extended from Louisiana to New Hampshire. Approximately 500 
million years ago, geological stresses deep in the earth resulted in the 
exceedingly slow movement of the South American plate northward to 
collide with the North American plate. This collision of tectonic plates 
slowly over geological time created the Ouachita Mountains. The 

enormous pressures of this geological activity caused the shale and 
sandstone layers to fracture and fissure. These huge rock layers moved 
up and down along the fault line, causing local relief to vary as much as 
1,000 feet. 2 

Over the centuries, rainfall in the area northwest to northeast of the 
park has percolated down through rock fractures and fissures in the Big 
Fork formation and Arkansas novaculite where the heat from the interior 
of the earth warms the water causing it to rise to the surface by way of 
joints and faults in the Hot Springs sandstone formation. The surface 
water temperature is more than 140 degrees. This journey from rainwater 
to spring water takes about 4,000 years. At the surface the water 



19 



escapes from the ground in both liquid and gaseous forms. The dissolved 

minerals in the water precipitate to form the white to tan travertine or 

"tufa rock" seen near the openings of the hot springs. Slightly less than 

3 
a million gallons of water a day flow from the 47 springs in the park. 

The geography has obviously affected the development pattern of the 
area. All of the springs issue from the west slope of Hot Springs 
Mountain at a mostly lower level, and originally they drained directly into 
Hot Springs Creek. In the area making up what is now Bathhouse Row, 
the creek runs north-south along the base of Hot Springs Mountain 
through a relatively narrow gorge that is between Hot Springs Mountain 
and West Mountain. The remaining floodplain is relatively flat and has 
been used as a major thoroughfare since the early 19th century. The 
road originally crossed and recrossed Hot Springs Creek several times, 
but the channeling of Hot Springs Creek in the latter part of the century 
resulted in straightening the road. The limits on the immediate vicinity 
posed by the geography only allowed for a linear north-south 
development. 



Flora and Fauna 

Forestation characterizes the flora of the park. The northern slopes of 

the ridges and basins provide a suitable habitat for deciduous forest 

dominated by oak and hickory. Pines predominate on the south sides of 

the ridges. Other shrubs and trees that flourish in this environment 

include yaupon, easter hackberry, elm, juniper, dogwood, serviceberry , 

redbud, and holly. Ground cover in the spring and summer includes 

pinks, verbenas, phlox, spiderworts, golden ragwort, purple cornflower, 

rose gentians, asters, butterfly milkweed, and sunflowers. These species 

4 
are a few of the various wildflowers found in the area. 

A wide variety of animals have lived in the park area over the centuries. 
Bison, wapiti, mountain lion, and wolf left the region after the arrival of 
European and American settlers. Some of the present-day species near 



20 



the hot springs include squirrel, rabbit, opossum, fox, coyote, skunk, 
raccoon, gopher, weasel, mink, rat, frog, and armadillo. Hot Springs 
National Park lands lie in the Mississippi flyway, which means migratory 

birds, game birds, and waterfowl spend portions of the year in the park 

. . .. 5 
vicinity. 

Hot and humid weather characterizes the climate during the late spring 
and summer months, with occasional periods of drought occurring during 
late summer. Long falls, mild winters, and early springs with few frosts 
and snows mark the seasonal progress of the year. This climate 
produced a typical southeastern woodland environment conducive to 
exploitation by aboriginal people. 



PREHISTORY AT THE HOT SPRINGS 

Archeological evidence suggests that during the Paleo-lndian period (circa 
12,000 to 8000 B.C.), early humans quarried for novaculite, a dense, 
chert-type rock, near the hot springs. Prehistoric peoples discovered 
that novaculite rock took a fine serrated edge when worked, making it 
valuable for use in a variety of tools and weapons. Lanceolated 
novaculite points are found in Paleo-lndian sites in southern portions of 
Arkansas along the Ouachita and Red rivers. 

About 8000 B.C., significant environmental changes accompanied the final 
melting of the great glacial ice sheets at the end of the Pleistocene 
period. Dramatic fluctuations in rainfall and temperature might have 
occurred. The modern geographical positions of the major life zones 
gradually formed during this period. Perhaps most significant for 
prehistoric people, many of the larger Pleistocene fauna (such as the 

o 

elephant, horse, camel, and certain species of bison) became extinct. 

The Archaic period (8000 to 1000 B.C.) is characterized by the human 
adaptation to these changed environmental conditions. An economy based 
on gathering, fishing, and small-game hunting developed, thus marking 



21 



the end of the Paleo-lndian tradition. The Archaic period included a 

proliferation of local or regional tool traditions that seem to indicate 

adaptations to various environments. Typical artifacts include chipped 

and ground stone tools, atlatls, grinding stones, fishhooks, and various 

styles of projectile points. Late in the period fully grooved axes and 

tubular smoking pipes were added. Ample evidence exists that some of 

these tools and projectile points were made from novaculite quarried near 

Hot Springs. Novaculite tools from the Hot Springs quarries have been 

unearthed in Indian graves and mounds from the shores of the Gulf of 

9 
Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. 

Paleo-lndians and their descendants lived and built mounds along major 
waterways such as the Ouachita River (which the Gulpha Creek and Hot 
Springs Creek empty into). Various Indian tribes frequented the Hot 
Springs and Gulpha area for the novaculite and the water, but no 
evidence exists to suggest a significant settlement in the very area of the 

Hot Springs. The closest mound building activity took place near where 

10 
Gulpha and Hot Springs Creek enter the Ouachita River. 

Around the 18th century the Caddo settled in the area, followed by the 
Choctaw, Cherokee, and other tribes in the early 19th century. These 
Indians told early white settlers that no tribe claimed the hot springs, 
but that all tribes bathed in the healing waters of the springs. The 
Indians, most likely, either lay in natural warm water pools or sat in 
spring-carved solution channels that were heated by the hot springs 
water and acted as vapor baths. The Quapaw lived in the Arkansas 
River delta area (Mississippi) and went to the Ouachita area to hunt and 
use the springs. In the 19th century the Quapaw were placed on a 
reservation southeast of Hot Springs. On August 24, 1818, the Quapaw 

ceded land including the Hot Springs to the U.S. and were removed to 

1 1 
the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). 



22 



EUROPEAN DISCOVERY OF THE HOT SPRINGS 

Possible Discovery of the Hot Springs by Soto 

After 1492 a number of Spanish expeditions set out to explore the New 
World and the interior of North America. In 1528 Panfilo de Narvaez led 
an expeditionary force of 400 men in a small fleet from Cuba to Florida. 
His fleet anchored in Tampa Bay where the troops disembarked. Narvaez 
and his army went inland. The ships waited as long as possible for their 
return, but finally departed. Discovering that he had missed his 
rendezvous, Narvaez considered several courses of action and finally 
decided to march his army inland. After enduring months of starvation, 
disease, and Indian attacks, the men returned to the coast and the 
surviving 240 men constructed five small boats in which they sailed west 
toward Mexico. In late October 1528 a storm wrecked three of the five 
boats. Some survivors eventually landed near present-day Galveston, 
Texas, while others landed farther along the Texas Islands. After eight 
years of wandering throughout the Southwest, four members of the 
expedition arrived at the Spanish settlement of Culiacan on the Gulf of 
California. One of the survivors, the Spanish nobleman Alvar Nunez 

Cabeza de Vaca, went to Mexico City and related his adventures to 

12 
authorities. 

On Vaca's return to Spain, he was invited to Hernando de Soto's home. 
Soto had served under Francisco Pizarro in Peru and had returned to 
Spain from that expedition a wealthy man. Just three months prior to 
Vaca's arrival in Spain, Soto had obtained permission to conquer Florida 
from the king of Spain, Charles V. Charles V granted him the title of 
governor and captain-general of Cuba and Florida. The king granted 
these concessions willingly, with Soto offering to bear all costs for the 
conquest. After questioning Vaca, Soto believed that great riches, 
comparable to those of the Aztecs and Incas, were his for the taking in 

the continent's interior. Confident, Soto left Spain on April 6, 1538, 

13 
with a fleet of nine vessels and 600 men. 



23 



Soto's army arrived in Cuba where they prepared for an assault on the 
American wilderness. On May 18, 1539, his armada sailed toward Florida 
and landed near Tampa Bay. The conquistadors marched inland in search 
of treasures. After 23 months and hundreds of miles, Soto's expedition 
arrived at the Mississippi River in April 1541. The Spaniards probably 

crossed the river at a point above thirty-five degrees latitude — not far 

14 
from the mouth of the Arkansas River. 

By mid-September 1541 Soto's army reached the Tunica village of Tanico 
on the Ouachita River. The expedition remained there until the middle of 
October when they moved farther south to establish winter quarters. 
Two members of the expedition made references in their diaries to 
possible hot springs in the area. A book published in 1557 by the 
"Gentleman of Elvas" claimed that near the Tunica village the expedition's 
horses drank from a very warm and brackish pool. Diary notes taken by 
Soto's private secretary, Rodrigo Ranjel, described hot streams in this 

vicinity. These remarks possibly could be the first European description 

15 
of the Arkansas hot springs. 

After leaving the Tunica village, Soto's army wandered through the 

Southwest. In April 1542 they again emerged on the banks of the 

1 6 
Mississippi from the west. Soto fell ill and died here on May 21, 1542. 

Luis de Moscoso de Alvarado took command of the ill-fated expedition 

after Soto's death. He led the beleaguered force back into the 

wilderness, hoping to locate a land route to Mexico. Unable to accomplish 

this goal, the army arrived back at the Mississippi above the mouth of 

the Arkansas River in December 1542 and established winter camp. They 

acquired needed supplies from the local Indians and set about 

constructing seven brigantines with which to descend the river. On 

July 2, 1543, the Spaniards launched their makeshift crafts along with 

some canoes. Shoreline Indian attacks and hazards arising from 

navigating down an unknown river punctuated their voyage to the Gulf of 

Mexico. Eighteen days later, 311 survivors of the original 600 men 

arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi River. After a dangerous coastal 

voyage, the remnant of Soto's army reached Mexico on September 10, 



24 



1543. Although the expedition failed to find any material wealth, it left a 
legacy of discoveries- 
what became Arkansas 



legacy of discoveries — including the knowledge of natural hot springs in 

17 



Spanish and French Exploration and Claims after the Soto Expedition 

The failure of Soto's expedition delayed further Spanish attempts to 
penetrate the American wilderness for 10 years. In 1553 the king of 
Spain, angered by Indian attacks on Spanish sailors who were wrecked 
along the Florida coast, directed the organization of a military campaign 
to chastise the tribesmen. Don Tristan de Luna y Arrellano assembled 
and equipped an expedition of 1,500 men for that purpose. The 
expedition failed and this was the last significant attempt by the Spanish 

to explore and exploit the area of North America drained by the 

1 8 
Mississippi River. 

French explorers undertook the next sustained effort at exploration of the 
region. French exploration centered on finding a water route from the 
Great Lakes to the sea through the interior of North America. During 
one exploration, Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, claimed the 
lands drained by the Mississippi for France on April 9, 1682. He named 
it Louisiana in honor of French King Louis XIV. La Salle tried to 
establish a colony at the mouth of the Mississippi, but was unsuccessful. 
A French expedition under Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d' Iberville, and Jean 
Baptiste le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville II, established a settlement near the 

mouth of the Mississippi in 1699, which they named Biloxi (Fort 

19 
Maurepas). 

Even before the founding of Biloxi, Iberville had traveled up the 
Mississippi to the vicinity of the confluence of Red River. There he 
conferred with the Tunica chief to form an alliance between the Tunicas 
and the French. Contacts continued between these two groups and, 
perhaps in this manner, the French learned about the hot springs near 
the Ouachita River. In 1833 an early American settler, Hiram 
Whittington, reported a local oral tradition that French hunters had 



25 



discovered hot springs around 1733. A few of the French settlers on the 

Mississippi River possibly visited and bathed in the hot springs before 

20 
the formal transfer of Louisiana to Spain in 1767. 



A vacillating French foreign policy, an unstable French monarchy, and a 
series of ruinous colonial wars hindered the French effort to explore and 
settle Louisiana. The outbreak of the Seven Years' War in 1755, known 
in North America as the French and Indian War, concluded in 1763 with 
the expulsion of the French from North America. In 1762 France 
persuaded Spain to enter the conflict, promising the cession to Spain of 
Louisiana lands on the west bank of the Mississippi and those lands on 
the east bank below Bayou Manchac, which included New Orleans. The 
Treaty of Fontainebleau in 1762 formalized this agreement. The Treaty of 
Paris in 1763 further clarified the military and diplomatic aspects of the 
agreement. Great Britain received the provinces of East and West Florida 
from Spain in exchange for La Habana, Cuba, which the British had 
captured during the war. Great Britain also obtained from France that 
portion of Louisiana lying east of the Mississippi and north of Bayou 
Manchac to a point on the east bank of the Mississippi above Natchez. 

Spain received from France those sections of Louisiana described in the 

21 
Treaty of Fontainebleau. 

In March 1766 Spanish officials arrived in New Orleans to take possession 
of Louisiana from the French. The formal transfer of the colony from 
France to Spain occurred on January 20, 1767. Colonial unrest kept the 

Spanish authorities from exercising full control over the colony until 

22 
1770. 

During the Spanish occupation, Don Juan Filhiol, following instructions 
from the Spanish Louisiana governor, conducted an exploration of the 
upper parts ot the Ouachita River. Near the river he found hot springs 
coming from the ground, boiling and clear. These hot springs cooled as 
they mingled with the waters of cooler mountain streams in the area. In 

December of 1787, Filhiol petitioned the Spanish government for a land 

23 
grant for an area occupied by these springs. 



26 



AMERICAN EXPLORATION AND SETTLEMENT 

The Hunter and Dunbar Expedition 

The Treaty of Paris of 1783, which formally ended hostilities of the 
American Revolution, left several important matters unresolved. The 
newly independent American colonies wanted the right to freely navigate 
the Mississippi. Also, the precise demarcation between the Spanish 
provinces of Louisiana and the Floridas on the one hand and the United 
States on the other needed to be determined. Before the American 
Revolution, Great Britain and Spain had conflicting boundary claims. The 
Treaty of San Lorenzo in 1795 between the United States and Spain 
established a new boundary between these two countries at the 
thirty-first parallel on the south and the Mississippi on the west. The 
treaty further guaranteed the United States the right to navigate the 
Mississippi and to deposit goods in New Orleans. 

This agreement did not satisfy American desires for greater control of the 
lower Mississippi, and negotiations continued between the two countries. 
The Spanish king, in the secret Treaty of San lldefonso on October 1, 
1800, ceded Louisiana back to France. The Treaty of Madrid on 

March 21, 1801, reconfirmed this agreement. Actual transfer of Louisiana 

24 
from Spain to France occurred on November 30, 1803. 

In light of these developments, President Thomas Jefferson instructed his 
minister to Paris, Robert R. Livingston, to negotiate with French Emperor 
Napoleon Bonaparte for the purchase of Louisiana. Livingston set out for 
France in March 1803, with permission to offer up to $10 million for the 
purchase of New Orleans and the Floridas. (Jefferson erroneously 
believed that Spain had ceded the Floridas as well as Louisiana to 
Napoleon.) The French emperor met the American envoy and offered to 
sell all the Louisiana Territory to the United States for $15 million, with 
the proviso that France maintain trading privileges with Louisiana for 10 
years following the transfer. On April 30, 1803, Livingston accepted the 
proposal and Napoleon ratified the treaty. The United States Congress 



27 



ratified the agreement on May 22, 1803. On December 20, 1803, the 
French, represented by Pierre de Laussat, formally turned over the 
Louisiana Territory to the United States Territorial Governor William C.C. 
Claiborne. 

President Thomas Jefferson requested that Congress fund several 
expeditions into the newly acquired Louisiana Territory. Jefferson wrote 
to his friend William Dunbar of Natchez, asking him to lead the expedition 
planned for the region of the Red and Arkansas rivers. Dunbar agreed 
to plan and prepare the expedition, but requested that President 
Jefferson send a younger scientist to travel with the expedition as he was 
too old for such a strenuous undertaking. Jefferson selected Doctor 
George Hunter from Philadelphia for this task. The lack of adequate 
government funding and feared Spanish and Indian hostilities forced the 
expedition to reduce the original scope of exploration. Dunbar suggested 
that they undertake a more modest trip to the hot springs near the 
Ouachita River. He commented that these spring waters reputedly could 
cure diseases. Dunbar knew of several paralytic people who traveled 
from the Natchez area to these hot springs in hopes of recovery. 
President Jefferson agreed, and Dunbar decided to accompany the 
expedition. 

While the Hunter-Dunbar expedition was in preparation, Joseph Macrery 
and a small party from Natchez visited the hot springs during the summer 
months of 1804. Macrery said he witnessed volcanic activity near the 
spring and observed molten rock. These findings remained unconfirmed 
by later explorers--with one exception. Timothy Flint, during his visit 
to the area in the 1820s, claimed to hear noises like those accompanying 

volcanic eruptions in the mountains around Hot Springs. Macrery and 

27 
Flint believed that the volcanic activity heated the spring waters. 

On October 16, 1804, the Hunter-Dunbar expedition left Natchez for the 
hot springs with a small military escort and two local guides. The 
military escort was a lieutenant, a sergeant, and 12 men. This small 
expedition rowed a 23-oared boat up the Mississippi to the Red River and 



28 



continued up Red River to Black River and into the Ouachita River. The 
shallow water hampered the progress of the boat, which was abandoned in 
favor of another one to get over the shallows. The expedition arrived in 

the vicinity of the springs on December 6, 1804, and the next day 

28 
traveled to the hot springs. 

Dunbar observed: "We found at the Hot-Springs an Open Log-Cabin and 
a few huts of split boards, all calculated for summer encampment, & which 

have been erected by persons resorting to the Springs for the recovery 

29 
of their health." On December 10, Dunbar conducted a detailed survey 

of the hot springs. He described six principal springs located either in 

the creek bed or on the east side of the creek. The temperatures in 

these springs ranged from 148° to 150° Fahrenheit. Dunbar found that in 

30 
the cooler months vapor from the hot springs floated above the creek. 



The expedition spent several more weeks in scientific investigation of the 
springs. They discovered one kind of algae and one kind of mollusk 
living in the hot springs. Their local guides told tales of how the hot 
springs relieved the stiffness from rheumatism and other diseases of the 
joints. At the end of December the expedition departed. Shortly after 

returning to Natchez, Dunbar and Hunter sent a report of their 

31 
observations to President Jefferson. 



Other Early Accounts of the Hot Springs and Settlement 

Lieutenant Zebulon Montgomery Pike led an expedition up the Arkansas 
River to the Rocky Mountains in 1806. There he dispatched Lieutenant 
James B. Wilkerson to return down the Arkansas River on a mapping 
expedition. Pike headed south where he was apprehended by Mexican 

officials and detained for a year. Wilkerson arrived in Arkansas Post on 

32 
January 9, 1807. The maps that he drew located the hot springs sites. 

About 1807 Jean Emmanuel Prudhomme, a plantation owner, arrived at the 
hot springs and constructed a cabin. He came there to regain his health. 



29 



After two years of bathing in the hot water and a diet of local foods, he 

33 
had fully regained his health and returned home to Louisiana. 



Visitors continued to come during the summer months to bathe in the hot 
waters. These early visitors built cabins or sheds for protection from 
the weather and hired local hunters to supply their camps with food. 
John Perciful (also known as Percifull or Percival) settled in the area and 
made a living selling food to the visitors and renting cabins for the 
summer months. By 1814 more than 20 summer shelters could be found in 

the valley, and two years later maps depicted trails from the Mississippi 

34 
to the hot springs. 

Major Stephen H. Long of the Army's topographical engineers visited the 
area in January of 1818. He found approximately 60 hot springs in the 
vicinity of Hot Springs Mountain and estimated that the springs issued 

more than 1,000 gallons a minute. Long found that water in the hottest 

35 
springs could be used for brewing tea or cooking meat or eggs. The 

community around the hot springs consisted of 14 or 15 primitive cabins, 

which Long found unoccupied except for one. He believed these cabins 

to be primarily for summer habitation.^ 



Thomas Nuttall, an English naturalist, visited near the hot springs in May 
1819. He wrote that someday the place would become a resort for people 
from the Midwest and South. Nuttall learned from Long that a rude 
structure for taking steam baths stood by one of the springs and that the 
springs varied in temperature from 86° to 150° Fahrenheit. That same 
year an Arkansan visited the springs and found a few cabins there for 

visitors. He observed that one of the other visitors gave daily lectures 

37 
on the origin and medical benefits of the hot springs. 

In 1820 a party from Stephen Long's expedition to the Rocky Mountains 
stopped on their way back east to examine the hot springs. They found 
a Doctor Wilson at the springs dispensing medical advice on the use of 
the hot waters. This party observed that the baths consisted of a few 
excavations in the rocks. Bathers regulated the flow of hot water to suit 



30 



their pleasure. That same year Joseph Mellard (also referred to as 
Millard) built a double log cabin, which served as the first hotel for the 

oo 

area. He gave up this business in 1826 or 1827. 

The year-round population around the hot springs remained small, with 
the 1820 census listing only 153 individuals in the Hot Springs township 
of Arkansas Territory. Development occurred slowly during the 1820s, 
with a number of cabins being erected near the hot springs. Indians 
continued to come during the spring and early summer to bathe in the 
warm water pools. A visitor to the springs in 1827 found an operating 
tavern and observed that many people came to the springs seeking cures 
for liver, spleen, and joint diseases. In 1828 Lucovicus Belding took 
over the vacant Perciful's cabins and constructed a hotel for visitors. 
Belding's hotel offered the amenities of good meals, clean linen, and 

silverware to entice visitors. The community around the hot springs 

39 
became known as Thermopolis for a short period of time. 

One visitor to the springs in 1829 praised the benefit of the springs in 
the following manner: 

They [the hot springs] have produced extraordinary cures in 
rheumatism, paralysis, liver complaint, enlargement of the 
spleen, eruptions, pulmonary complaints, obstructions and 
chronic disorders of every kind. 

Where the system has been saturated with mercury which has 
been imperfectly purged out, they will salivate again after a 
great lapse of time carry off the mercury. 4( pld and fixed 
venereal taints are also eradicated by their use. 



He found the bathing accommodations less praiseworthy and commented 

The accommodations for using the water are so entirely deficient 
that it would not be wonderful if but little was effected by 
them. The sweat house is rudely constructed with boards 
which but partially exclude the air; and the mouth of it is 
stopped by a blanket. 



31 



The patient has to come inta..the open air to dry himself, hurry 
on his clothes and go home. 



During the next few years improvements came slowly, with Asa Thompson 
constructing the first bathhouse in 1830. It was a simple log building 
with one wooden tub near the sweat bath. People traveled either by 
steamboat from New Orleans to Little Rock and then overland to Hot 
Springs or by trail from the Mississippi to the springs. The construction 
of a second log bathhouse with wooden tubs occurred before 1832. These 
bathing facilities were near the present-day Arlington Lawn and Hale 

Bathhouse. In addition to the bathhouses, several settlers began using 

42 
their cabins as stores that served visitors. 



Transfer of the Hot Springs to the United States Government in 1832 

By the late 1820s people in Arkansas and elsewhere were aware of the 
value of the hot springs. John Pope, the Arkansas territorial governor 
in 1829, requested the United States Congress to erect at Hot Springs a 
building to accommodate the sick and either donate or lease the structure 
to the territory. The Congress took no action on this proposal. In 1830 
Ambrose H. Sevier, Arkansas territorial representative, sent a letter to 
the editor of the Arkansas Gazette suggesting that the Arkansas 
Territorial Assembly may wish to lease the hot springs and dispense the 
proceeds to the needy. The territorial assembly did not act on this 

proposal until 1832 when the United States Congress passed superseding 

i • i +■ 43 

legislation. 

In 1832 Sevier introduced a bill in Congress stating: 



Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives that 
the Hot Springs in Arkansas Territory, together with four 
sections of land with the springs, as near the center as may 
be, are hereby reserved and set apart for future disposal by 
the United States Government, and are not to be entered, 
preempted., or appropriated for any purpose or purposes 
whatever. 



32 



This bill, in slightly modified form, passed Congress and became law on 
April 20, 1832. Little opposition arose to the proposal in either the 
House of Representatives or the Senate. The Arkansas Gazette credited 
Sevier for his efforts to get the bill passed. The next year the Arkansas 
Territorial Assembly requested Congress to improve the navigable water 

routes to Hot Springs to aid the hundreds of invalids who made their way 

45 
to the springs each year. Congress took no action on the request. 

The question of state or federal ownership of the hot springs remained 
open for the next several years. In 1836 the Arkansas Constitutional 
Convention debated a proposal to request the federal government return 

the hot springs to the state for disposition. The convention rejected the 

46 
proposal and the springs remained under federal control. 



Bathhouse Row in the 1830s 

The same year that the United States Congress acted to place the hot 
springs under federal control, some 400 people traveled to the springs in 
hopes of restoring their health. A few cabins--used as residences, 
stores, and boarding houses—were scattered around the springs. The 

visitors usually came in the spring and remained until fall before 

47 
departing to their homes in the south and border states. 

In 1833 the United States government awarded a mail contract, which 
stipulated that postal service to Hot Springs be conducted on a weekly 
basis. George W. Featherstonhaugh, an English adventurer and scientist, 

arrived in Hot Springs in December 1834. He observed the local 

48 
community consisted of four small cabins with one serving as a store. 

Featherstonhaugh described his own accommodations at Hot Springs as 
follows: 



It [the cabin] had a roof to it as well as a little portico, as a 
defense against the rays of the sun, but this was literally all 



33 



that it had, for not an article of furniture, was there either in 
the shape of table or chair. The floor was formed of boards 
roughly and unevenly hewn, and, unfortunately, some of them 
wanting. Being reckoned, however, the best lodging in the 
place, we made the best of it, and through our new friends got 
skins, blankets, and other appliances to serve as bedding. We 
next laid in firewood and constructed a kind of table, so that 
when we succeeded in borrowing two old chairs, we looked with 
some satisfaction upon our new attempt at housekeeping. We 
were sure at any rate of being alone, and of being out of reach 
of filth of every kind; in fact it was almost as desirable as 
being in the woods, and had the advantage of shelter. How 
invalids contrive to be comfortable, who come to this ragged 
place, I cannot image, yet I understand, that ten or a dozen 
people are often crammed into this room. 



Visitors in 1835 found two log stores open for business. These early 
tourists stayed in cabins or tents and bathed in pools or in small 
bathhouses. A few of the pools contained wooden curbing and hollowed 
out gum logs for bathtubs. A hack service offered visitors transportation 
from Little Rock to Hot Springs. The next year a stage line began 
operations. The improvement in public accessibility resulted in increased 
visitation and additional bathing facilities. By the end of the decade, 
travelers reported five bathhouses which provided tub and sweat baths 
standing near the springs. 

Lack of more sophisticated technologies limited Hot Springs' first buildings 
to simple, primitive structures. Early builders squared logs and split 
planks for the handcrafted structures. This type of rugged frontier 

construction continued until about 1835, when a sawmill made cut lumber 

51 
readily available for building. The introduction of the sawmill resulted 

in a radical change in local architecture. Builders began to add 

architectural elements and decorative details which would have been 

difficult or virtually impossible to build without the new technology. 

The addition of new functions in the settlement also affected changes to 
the architectural evolution of Hot Springs. The first small structures 
served simple, utilitarian purposes — residences, liveries, hotels, boarding 
houses. As larger numbers of people came to the springs, the hotels 



34 



expanded operations to provide more for their guests than just a bed to 

sleep in at night. One entrepreneur constructed a "house of 

52 
entertainment" for guests' amusement. The new structures were larger 

than their predecessors, and more of them appeared to serve the 

burgeoning spa industry. 



Bathhouse Row in the 1840s and 1850s 

In the 1840s the vapor bath still operated. Here the bather sat in a 
small wooden enclosure over a spring with the steam rising from below 
through the wooden floor planks. Most bathers did not bother obtaining 
medical advice, but they preferred prescribing their own treatments. 
Occasionally, a person calling himself a medical doctor came to the springs 
and gave questionable medical consultation. The majority of people 

coming to the hot springs were men; however, a few women sought the 

53 
benefits of the hot water. 

During the 1840s the community of Hot Springs continued to grow, with 
saloons, boardinghouses, and hotels constructed to accommodate the 
increased visitation. The stage line began making trips to Hot Springs 
from Little Rock three times a week instead of twice. The trip took a 

day and a half and cost $6 one way. Road improvements, later, reduced 

54 
the stage time to between 10 and 12 hours. 

The community of Hot Springs expanded in the 1850s. William H. 
Hammond became the first permanent physician in Hot Springs in 1850. 
The next year the people of Hot Springs incorporated the settlement as a 
city. An estimated 3,000 visitors from throughout the South, Midwest, 
and East traveled to the community in 1854. Each proprietor of the newly 
constructed hotels claimed that his hotel represented the most modern and 

• + 55 

luxurious in town. 

At the same time the primitive bathhouse technology was becoming slightly 
more advanced. John C. Hale arrived in Hot Springs in 1838, and by 



35 



1854 he had erected a hotel and updated a large frame bathhouse. He 
built wooden troughs that carried water directly from one of the springs 
to a tank at the rear of his bathhouse, undoubtedly similar to the system 
shown in figure 1. Inside, the bather entered a dressing room, 
disrobed, and then proceeded to the bathroom where he immersed himself 
in a small wooden tub. The tub was equipped with a cold water spout 
and a rope controlling the hot spring water spout from the tank. The 
bather let in as much hot water as he wanted. When he was done 
bathing, he went to a vapor room--most likely a room built over a thermal 
spring with space between the floorboards where the vapor naturally 
rose--and then to a simple shower and back to the dressing room. At 

least one bathhouse had a small "ladies department" as shown in figure 2. 
Those who could not afford bathhouse fees still immersed themselves in 
the stream (fig. 3), and drinking the waters directly from the spring 
(figs. 4 and 5) remained a most popular pastime. 

During the late 1850s the well-established settlement continued to grow. 
Physically limited by the topography, the north-south linear development 
sat wedged along Hot Springs Creek between West Mountain and Hot 
Springs Mountain. On the east side of the creek adjacent to the springs, 
seven bathhouses and three drinking pavilions had individual access 
bridges over the creek so that patrons could reach the facilities. On the 
west side of the creek, more businesses opened their doors — doctors' 
offices, grocery stores, and dry good stores. Some of the bathhouses 
and hotels began year-round operations. Hotels continued to increase 
their patronage by adding ice-cream and soda fountains and drinking and 
billiard saloons. 



36 



Notes from Chapter 2 



1. Jeffrey S. Hanor, Fire in Folded Rocks : Geology of Hot Springs 
National Park (n.p.: Eastern National Park and Monument Association, 
1980), pp. 22-30; Kirk Bryan, "Report on the Hot Water Supply of the 
Hot Springs National Park, Arkasnas," Report prepared for the National 
Park Service by the U.S. Geological Survey, November 10, 1921 
(Typewritten), p. 10; Forrest M. Benson and Donald S. Libbey, "History 
of Hot Springs National Park," (Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, ca. 
1950) p. 4; James Gilluly, Aaron C. Waters, and Alfred O. Woodford, The 
Principles of Geology (San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company, 
1959), p. 99; Charles M. Baker, "Archeological Inventory of Hot Springs 
National Park" (Fayetteville, Arkansas, June 1975), p. 2 (Typewritten); 
and Walter Harvey Weed, Geological Sketch of Hot Springs District , 
Arkansas, (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office (hereafter 
referred to as GPO), 1902), pp. 82, 84. 

2. Hanor, Fire vn Folded Rocks : Geology of Hot Springs National Park , 
pp. 22-30; Benson and Libbey, p. 5; Gilluly, Waters, and Woodford, The 
Principles of Geology , p. 99; Baker, "Archeological Inventory of Hot 
Springs National Park," p. 2; and Francis J. Scully, Hot Springs , 
Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park : The Story of a City and the 
Nation's Health Resort (hereafter cited as Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot 
Springs National Park ) (Little Rock, Arkansas: Pioneer Press, 1966), 
pp. 134-137. 

3. A discussion of the chemical content of the water is included later in 
this report. Ibid., pp. 138-139; Bryan, "Report on the Hot Water 
Supply," p. 18; and "Waters Take 4,000-year Trip," Scene (May 1982), 
p. 5. 

4. M.S. Bedinger, Valley of the Vapors : Hot Springs National Park 
(Philadelphia: Eastern National Park and Monument Association, 1974); 
and Baker, p. 3. 

5. Ibid. 

6. Ibid., p. 4. 

7. Ibid., p. 10; Benson and Libbey, "History of Hot Springs National 
Park," p. 3; and Ronald J. Mason, "The Paleo-lndian Tradition in 
Eastern North America," Current Anthropology , 3 (April 1962): 234. 

8. For further details of post-Pleistocene climatic change, see Ernst 
Antev, "Climatic Changes and Pre-White Man," University of Utah 
Bulletin , 27 (1948): 168-91, and D.H. Denton and W. Kalen, "Holocene 
Climatic Variations: Their Pattern and Possible Cause," Quaternary 
Research 3 (August 1973): 155-205; for further details regarding lifezone 
shifts, see H.E. Wright, Jr. "The Dynamic Nature of Holocene 
Vegetation," Quaternary Research 6 (December 1976): 581-96, and, James 



37 



B. Stoltman, "Temporal Models in Prehistory: An Example from Eastern 
North America," Current Anthropology 19 (December 1978): 703-29. 

9. William G. Haag, "The Archaic of the Lower Mississippi Valley," 
American Antiquity , 26 (January 1961): 318-319; Baker, "Archeological 
Inventory of Hot Springs National Park," p. 10; and John R. Fordyce, 
"Hot Springs National Park: Archeology, Legends and History in the 
Evolution of the Bath," Area and Service History 1900-1952 File, Hot 
Springs National Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas, 1933. 

10. Letter from Eldon G. Reyer, Associate Regional Director, Planning 
and Cultural Resources, Southwest Regional Office, National Park Service 
to Manager, Denver Service Center, National Park Service, October 30, 
1987. 

11. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
pp. 5-6; Benson and Libbey, "History of Hot Springs National Park", 
pp. 3-4; "Manataka," The Arkansas Gazette , 5 April 1892, p. 1; Ruth 
Irene Jones, "Hot Springs: Ante-Bellum Watering Place," The Arkansas 
Historical Quarterly , 14 (Spring 1955), p. 3; Baker "Archeological 
Inventory of Hot Springs National Park," p. 11; and Letter from Eldon G. 
Reyer, Associate Regional Director, Planning and Cultural Resources, 
Southwest Regional Office, National Park Service to Manager, Denver 
Service Center, National Park Service, October 30, 1987. 

12. For background information on Spanish exploration, see John Francis 
Bannon, The Spanish Borderlands Frontier : 1513-1821 (New York: Holt, 
Rhinehart, and Winston, 1970) and Frederick W. Hodge and Theodore H. 
Lewis, eds., Spanish Explorers i_n the United States , 1528-1553 (New 
York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1907). Daniel Aaron, Richard Hofstader, 
and William Miller, The United States : A History of the Republic 
(Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1967), pp. 3-5; and 
Frederic Austin Ogg, The Opening of the Mississippi : A Struggle for 
Supremacy nn the American Interior (New York: Cooper Square 
Publishers, Inc., 1968), p. 43. 

13. Alcee Fortier, A History of Louisiana , vol. 1 Early Explorations and 
the Domination of the French , 1512-1768 (New York: Manzi, Joyant, and 
Co., 1904), pp. 4-5. 

14. Ibid., pp. 5, 9; Alcee Fortier, Louisiana : Comprising Sketches of 
Parishes , Towns , Events , Institutions , and Persons . Arranged in 
Cyclopedic Form , 2 vols. (Century Historical Association, 1914), 2:161; 
and Ogg, The Opening of the Mississippi , p. 34. 

15. The final report of the De Soto Expedition Commission did not favor 
the route which placed Soto near the Arkansas hot springs. Joseph 
Sanchez, Chief of the Spanish Colonial Research Center, in his translation 
of the Elvas account found in Relacao Verdadeira dos Trabalhos que o 
Governador D. Fernando de Souto e certos Fidalgos Portugueses passaram 
no descobrimento da Provincia da Florida agora novamente escrita por um 
Fidalgo de Elvas discovered the word "alagon". In previous translations, 



38 



the word was translated to mean lake. Sanchez believes the word, as 
used in the sixteenth century, more accurately translates to mean pool or 
marshlands. This translation could mean that possibly Soto and his men 
were in the vicinity of the Arkansas hot springs. Scully, Hot Springs , 
Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , pp. 8-11; John Gould Fletcher, 
Arkansas (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1947), 
pp. 16-18; U.S. Congress, House, Final Report of the United States De 
Soto Expedition Commission , H. Doc. 71, 76th Cong., 1st sess., 1939, 
pp. 254-255; and Frederick W. Cron, "The Hot Springs of the Ouachita," 
on file at Garland County Historical Society and Hot Springs National 
Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas, pp. 7, 10. 

16. The reemergence of Soto's army has been variously placed — near the 
mouth of the Arkansas River, near the mouth of Red River, and near 
present-day Natchez. Ogg, The Opening of the Mississippi , pp. 37-40; 
Fortier, History of Louisiana , 1:10; and Benjamin Franklin French, ed., 
trans., 5 vols., Historical Collections of Louisiana Embracing the 
Translations of Many Rare and Valuable Documents Relating to the 
Natural , Civil and Political History of that State Compiled with Historical 
and Biographical Notes (New York: Redfield, 1952), 4:46. 

17. A number of works detail the movements of Soto's expedition from its 
landing in Florida through its descent of the Mississippi River. The best 
of these are: Buckingham Smith, trans., Narrative of the Career of 
Hernando De Soto by a Gentleman of Elvas (New York: Bradford Club, 
1866); Verdadeira Relacam, Discovery and Conquest of Terra Florida , ed. 
and trans. Richard Hakluyt (New York: Franklin Press, 1966); Theodore 
Maynard, De Soto and the Conquistadores (New York: Longmans, Green, 
and Company, 1930); Theodore Irving, Conquest of Florida Under 
Hernando de Soto , 2 vols. (Fort Myers, Florida: Island Press, 1973); 
and Peter Lily, The Great Riding : The Story of De Soto m America 
(Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1983). A useful compilation 
of material concerning the Soto expedition can be found in the U.S. 
House of Representatives, Final Report of the United States De Soto 
Expedition Commission . H. Doc. 71, 76th Cong., 1st sess., 1939. 
Fortier, History of Louisiana , 1:10; Ogg, The Opening of the Mississippi , 
pp. 40-41; and French, Historical Collections of Louisiana , 4:xv, 46. 

18. Joseph Wallace, The History of Illinois Under the French Rule 
Embracing a General View of the Dominion i_n North America with Some 
Account of "the English Occupation of Illinois (Cincinnati: Robert Clarke 
Company, 1899), p. 33. " 

19. The lands drained by the Mississippi included what became the state 
of Arkansas. Ogg, The Opening of the Mississippi , pp. 92, 110, 
118-119, 180; Fortier, History of Louisiana , 1:23, 38; French, Historical 
Collections of Louisiana , 4:48-49, 174-75; and Marcel Giraud, A History of 
French Louisiana , 4 vols., trans. Joseph C. Lambert, (Baton Rouge: 
Louisiana State University Press, 1974), 1:11. 

20. William O. Scroggs, Early Trade and Travel \n the Lower Mississippi 
Valley (Baton Rouge: Ortieb's Printing House, 1911), pp. 6-7; Fortier, 



39 



History of Louisiana 1:39, 43, 625; Richebourg Gaillard McWilliams, Fleur 
de Lys and Calmet : Being the Penicaut Narrative of French Adventure in 
Louisiana (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1953), p. 23; 
Giraud, History of French Louisiana , 1:12; Cron, "The Hot Springs of 
the Ouachita," p. 346; and Mary D. Hudgins, "A Thumbnail History of 
Hot Springs," Hot Springs Natural History Journal 2(1954): 4. 

21. Fortier, History of Louisiana , 2:153, 455-56; Wallace, The History of 
Illinois Under the French Rule Embracing a General View of the Dominion 
in North America with Some Account of the English Occupation of Illinois , 
pp. 363, 365; and Ogg, The Opening of the Mississippi , pp. 287-288. 

22. James Wilbert Miller, "The Spanish Commandant of Baton Rouge, 
1779-1795" (Master's thesis, Louisiana State University, 1964), p. 2; John 
Preston Moore, Revolt in Louisiana : The Spanish Occupation , 1766-1779 
(Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1976), pp. 2, 40; and 
Fortier, History of Louisiana , 1:148-49. 

23. Cron, "The Hot Springs of the Ouachita," p. 3. 

24. Amos Stoddard, Sketches , Historical and Descriptive of Louisiana 
(New York: AMS Press, 1973; orig. pub. Philadelphia: Mathew Carey, 
1812), p. 132; Rose Meyers, A History of Baton Rouge , 1699-1812 (Baton 
Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1976), pp. 73-74; Arthur Preston 
Whitaker, The Mississippi Question , 1719-1803 : A Study in Trade , 
Politics , and Diplomacy (Gouster Mass.: Peter Smith, 1962), p. 51; and 
Aaron, Hofstader, and Miller, The United States , pp. 206-208. 

25. Ogg, The Opening of the Mississippi , p. 591; Fortier, History of 
Louisiana , 2:226, 237, 247, 269; John Francis McDermott, ed., The 
Spanish m the Mississippi Valley , 1762-1804 (Urbana, Illinois: University 
of Illinois Press, 1974), p. viii; and Asbury Dickins and John W. Forney, 
eds., American State Papers : Documents of the Congress of the United 
States in Relation to the Public Lands from the First Session of the 
Twentieth Congress , March 3, 1829 , 8 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Gales 
and Seaton, 1860), 5:708. 

26. Erow Rowland, comp., Life , Letters and Papers of William Dunbar of 
Elgin , Morayshire , Scotland , and Natchez , Mississippi : Pioneer Scientist 
of the Southern United States (Jackson, Mississippi: Press of the 
Mississippi Historical Society, 1930), p. 134; Scully, Hot Springs , 
Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , p. 21; John Francis McDermott, 
ed . , The Western Journals of Dr. George Hunter , 1796-1805 , New Series, 
Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 53, part 4 
(Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society, 1963), p. 11; and 
James D. Richardson, comp., A Compilation of the Messages and Papers 
of the President , 1789-1897 (Washington, D.C.: " GPO, 1896), p. 398. 

27. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
p. 23; Bryan, K., "Report on the Hot Water Supply," p. 16; Timothy 
Flint, The History and Geography of the Mississippi Valley to which [s 
Appended a Condensed Physical Geography of the Atlantic United States , 



40 



and the Whole American Continent , 2 vols. (Cincinnati: E.H. Flint and 
L.R. Lincoln, 1832), 1:283; and Norsworthy, "Hot Springs, Arkansas," 
p. 47. 

28. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
p. 21; McDermott, ed., The Western Journals , p. 12; and Norsworthy, 
"Hot Springs, Arkansas," p. 20. 

29. Rowland, Life , Letters and Papers of William Dunbar of Elgin , 
Morasphire , Scotland , and Natchez , Mississippi , p. 272. 

30. Ibid., p. 273. 

31. McDermott, ed . , The Western Journals p. 106; Scully, Hot Springs , 
Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , pp. 22-23; and Rowland, Life , 
Letters and Papers of William Dunbar of Elgin , Morayshire , Scotland , and 
Natchez , Mississippi , pp. 299-300. 

32. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
p. 23; and Robert G. Athearn, High Country Empire : The High Plains 
and Rockies (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1960), pp. 17-18. 

33. Several authors claim that Prudhomme arrived at the hot springs in 
1806 and others state that he did not arrive until 1807. Neither group 
offers overwhelming evidence to support its position. Scully, Hot 
Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , p. 26; Benson and 
Libbey, "History of Hot Springs National Park," p. 14, Dallas T. 
Herndon, ed., Centennial History of Arkansas , 3 vols. (Chicago: The 
S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1922), 1:859; Work Projects Administration, 
Arkansas : A Guide to the State (New York: Hastings House, 1941), 
p. 156; and Fay Hempstead, Historical Review of Arkansas : Its 
Commerce , Industry and Modern Affairs (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing 
Co., 1911), p. 1:546. 

34. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
pp. 26-27; Benson and Libbey, p. 14; and Jones, "Hot Springs: 
Ante-Bellum Watering Place," p. 5. 

35. Dee Brown, The American Spa : Hot Springs , Arkansas , (Little 
Rock, Arkansas: Rose Publishing Company, 1982), p. 12. 

36. Eugene L. Schwab, ed . , Travel m the Old South : Selected From 
Periodicals of the Times , 2 vols. (Lexington: The University of Kentucky 
Press, 1973), 1:135. 

37. Thomas Nuttall, A Journ al of Travels into Arkansas Territory During 
the Year 1819, ed . Sovoie Lottinville (Norman: University of Oklahoma 
Prissy T97"9)~r pp. 124-125; and "Early Days in Hot Springs County and 
Vicinity," Southern Standard (Arkadelphia), 17 February 1896, p. 1. 

38. Brown, The American Spa , p. 63; Fay Hempstead, A Pictorial 
History of Arkansas From Earliest Times to the Year 1890 (St. Louis: 



41 



N.D. Thompson Publishing Co., 1890), p. 1,150; Work Projects 
Administration, Arkansas , p. 157; Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot 
Springs National Park , pp. 23, 27; Hempstead, Historical Review of 
Arkansas 1:548; and Hudgins, "A Thumbnail History," p. 5. 

39. A more detailed discussion of the medical properties of the springs 
and early bathing regimens will be discussed in later sections of this 
report. "Hot Springs: Ante-Bellum Watering Place," Jones, 14:6-9; 
Cron, "The Hot Springs of the Ouachita," pp. 54-55; and Scully, Hot 
Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , pp. 27-28. 

40. "The Hot Springs," The Arkansas Gazette (Little Rock), 26 August 
1829, p. 1. 

41. Ibid. 

42. By this time, the small community around the waters had become 
known as Hot Springs. Jones, "Hot Springs: Ante-Bellum Watering 
Place," 14:9; Hempstead, Historical Review of Arkansas , p. 548; 
Herndon, Centennial History of Arkansas , 1:863; Work Projects 
Administration, Arkansas , p. 157; and Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and 
Hot Springs National Park , pp. 42-43. 

43. Lonnie J. White, Politics on the Southern Frontier : Arkansas 
Territory , 1819-1836 (Memphis, Tenn.: Memphis State University Press, 
1964), p. 97; and Clarence Edwin Carter, comp. and ed . , The Territorial 
Papers of the United States , vol. 20 The Territory of Arkansas , 
1825-1829 , (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1954), p. 631. 

44. Benson and Libbey, "History of Hot Springs National Park," p. 2. 

45. Jones, "Hot Springs: Ante-Bellum Watering Place," 14:8; and 
Clarence Edwin Carter, comp. and ed . , The Territorial Papers of the 
United States , vol. 21 The Territory of Arkansas , 1829-1863 , 
(Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1954), p. 828. 

46. Ibid., p. 1,189. 

47. Jones, "Hot Springs: Ante-Bellum Watering Place," 14:11; and 
Norsworthy, "Hot Springs, Arkansas," pp. 5, 9. 

48. Carter, The Territory of Arkansas , 1829-1836 , 21:760-761; and 
George W. Featherstonhaugh, Featherstonhaugh's Excursion Through the 
Slave States (London: John Murray, 1844), p. 106. 

49. Ibid., pp. 106-107. 

50. Jones, "Hot Springs: Ante-Bellum Watering Place," pp. 14-16; 
Hempstead, Historical Review of Arkansas , p. 550; Herndon, Centennial 
History of Arkansas , 1:864; Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot 
Springs National Park , p. 43; and Benson and Libbey, "History of Hot 
Springs National Park," p. 15. 



42 



51. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
p. 25. 

52. Ibid., p. 38. 

53. Norsworthy, "Hot Springs, Arkansas," p. 26; and Featherstonhaugh, 
Featherstonhaugh's Excursion Through the Slave States , pp. 106-107. 

54. Jones, "Hot Springs: Ante-Bellum Watering Place," pp. 14-16; 
Hempstead, Historical Review of Arkansas , p. 550; and Herndon, 
Centennial History of Arkansas , 1:864. 

55. Brown, The American Spa , p. 63; Norsworthy, "Hot Springs, 
Arkansas," p. 29; Benson and Libbey, "History of Hot Spings National 
Park," p. 15; and Work Projects Administration, Arkansas , p. 157. 

56. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
pp. 35, 39-41. 

57. Jones, "Hot Springs: Ante-Bellum Watering Place," pp. 24-29. 



43 



44 



CHAPTER 3: THE EVOLUTION OF BATHING AND MEDICAL PRACTICES 
AT HOT SPRINGS IN THE 19TH AND 20TH CENTURIES 



BATHING PRACTICES OVER THE YEARS 

Bathing Procedures in the 19th Century 

The earliest bathing procedure consisted of merely reclining in natural 
pools of hot springs and cool creek water for long periods of time. This 
procedure continued until the bather was cured or left the hot springs. 
In 1804 a member of the Hunter and Dunbar expedition told how he lay in 
Hot Springs Creek with a blanket over himself and drank hot water until 
he broke out in a sweat. He then plunged into cold water, got out, and 
dried himself off. After resting for a while, he repeated the procedure. 
Usually, he took three baths a day for three days and rested for a day 
or two after the treatment; then he repeated the process. After two 
weeks he felt strong enough to join his companions in a hunting 
expedition. 

During the 1820s crude vapor baths stood over the springs, and bathers 

breathed in the vapors for extended periods of time. A bather coming to 

the hot springs either set his own regimen of vapor and pool baths or 

took the advice from other bathers. Some patrons spent only a few hours 

2 
in the hot water; others lay in Hot Spring Creek day and night. 

During the 1830s a few of the bathhouses offered patrons wooden tubs. 
A visitor to a bathhouse in 1834 found the building divided into two 
portions. The first served as a place to undress; the second room, 
constructed over a hot springs, consisted of benches placed over a floor 
of 2-inch-wide boards set 2 inches apart. Steam from the springs rose 
through these separations. A person remained in this steam room for 30 
to 40 minutes and received a dousing with cold water when he reentered 
the dressing room. After taking this steam bath in the morning, the 
bather usually took a water bath in a tub or the creek during the 
afternoon . 



45 



One writer on the benefits of the hot springs wrote in 1841 that two 

vapor baths were required each day, the first coming before breakfast. 

He warned that one should neither stay in the bath longer than 15 

minutes nor in water over 104 degrees. Some individuals did not take the 

entire bath, but placed their affected arms or legs in a pool or in 

rushing water to get relief. Other advice in area newspapers included 

the assertion that the best times to visit the hot springs were from March 

1 to July 1 and from September 1 to January 1 . Another authority 

recommended that after one or two months of bathing a respite of some 

4 
time was necessary before continuing with the baths. 

Starting in the 1850s physicians began taking up permanent residence in 
Hot Springs, although many visitors did without their services. By the 
late 1850s a series of troughs brought the water to the bather as he 
reclined in a wooden tub. A series of levers and wooden blocks released 
hot and cold water until the desired temperatures were achieved. Also 
showers came into use, which allowed hot water to cascade down on the 
bather from above and, preferably, on that portion of the body needing 
treatment. During the bath the bather drank thermal water as part of 
the cure. Bathers remained in Hot Springs from one week to two months 
taking baths. 

A few changes occurred in the bathing regimen after the Civil War. Each 
bather brought two towels, a flannel bathing suit, a tin cup, and a 
bucket capable of holding two quarts of hot water to the bathhouse. 
Bathers undressed in one room and proceeded to another room to take a 
tub bath for 15 to 20 minutes. By the 1870s some bathhouses 
recommended only three minutes for the hot bath, and a three-minute 
timer stood by the tub. Next came the steam bath in which the bathers 
remained for as long as they could stand the heat--usually six to eight 
minutes. During the bathing regimen, they constantly drank the hot 
water. After the steam bath, they went back to the dressing room where 
a bath attendant wrapped them in blankets. Then they walked back to 
their hotel or boardinghouses where they rested for 30 minutes under the 
blankets. The bathers were warned not to fall asleep as this was 
considered dangerous. 



46 



Also popular was a spring known as Ral Hole. Here the hot water pool 
had a mud bottom and was channeled to a lower pool for cooling. The 
bathers took off their clothes in the woods nearby and entered the lower 
pool slowly, going in deeper as they got used to the water temperature. 
After 10 to 20 minutes they returned to the bank and plastered 
themselves with mud. They lay for several hours with the mud pack on 
before returning to the pool and washing themselves off. Sometimes 20 
people crowded into this pool for a bath. Men used the pool during the 
afternoon and women bathed there in the morning. 

By the mid-1870s the bathing regimen became more diverse, and 
physicians prescribed various types of baths for patients. Physicians 
prescribed specific times and manners for a person to bathe, steam, and 
lie in pack blankets. Visitors were cautioned against taking the water 
without a doctor's advice. The period of time for tub baths became six 
to 10 minutes and the time in the steam bath shortened to two minutes; 
only one bath regimen took place each day. The water mixture for the 

o 

tub baths consisted of two parts cold water to one part hot water. 

In 1878 the first superintendent at Hot Springs, Benjamin Kelley, 

established regulations for bathing. Kelley closed Ral Hole for bathing, 

and later the first Government Free Bathhouse operated at the site. Also 

he recorded the types of tubs in use at Hot Springs. His 1881 inventory 

of bathhouse equipment lists zinc-, slate-, iron-, wood-, and 

copper-trimmed tubs in use during the bathing regimen. Two years later 

porcelain tubs were in use at a few bathhouses. In addition, the 

9 
bathhouses offered electric baths and mercurial vapor baths. 

During the 1880s a few of the open springs gradually dried up. Corn 
Hole, a popular spring for people to soak their feet, dried up in 1882, 
and government officials covered over the mudhole. Other open springs 

were either covered over by the government or the bathhouse owners to 

10 
prevent their pollution. 



47 



The bathhouses began using vapor cabinets around 1884. The bather sat 
in the cabinet with the lid closing tightly around the neck. Vapor from 
the hot water rose through the floor of the cabinet. Most of the 
bathhouse bathing attendants kept the temperature of these cabinets 
around 110 degrees and tub baths at 98 degrees. A few bathhouses 
preferred to keep the vapor baths at more than 130 degrees. The bather 
sat in the cabinet from 10 to 20 minutes. The closed lid prevented the 
steam from going into the bather's lungs. The bather also received a 
douche of hot water poured or sprayed on an affected area of the body. 
This usually occurred with the bather in the tub. Physicians 

recommended that bathers take the baths early in the morning and on an 

11 
empty stomach. Toward the end of the 1880s the bathhouses offered 

Russian and Turkish baths, and in the 1890s German needle baths and 

Scotch douches were added to the types of water treatment available. By 

this time bathhouses offered separate bathing facilities for men and 

women. Earlier, men and women had bathed at different times. Another 

change in the bathing regimen was the use of a cooling room for bathers 

12 
to cool down and rest after completing their baths. 

Most of the bathhouses opened each day seven days a week. They 
offered bathers the option of purchasing tickets for one, five, 10, or 21 

baths. Twenty-one baths, which took three weeks to complete, were 

13 
considered appropriate for one stay in American spas. 

Government regulation of the bathhouses controlled the bathing regimen in 
only the broadest manner. These regulations set the manner and sale of 
bath tickets, the sanitary conditions of the bathhouses, and the 
economical use of the thermal water by the bathhouses. Other procedures 
concerning the bathing regimen were left to the judgment of the 
lessees. 

At the end of the 19th century the bathhouses all used porcelain-lined or 
solid porcelain tubs. Marble or wooden partitions separated individual 
dressing stalls. Besides the bathing facilities, some bathhouses contained 
reading, writing, massage, gymnasium, and smoking rooms. These 



48 



bathhouses were replaced by the present ones on Bathhouse Row at the 
beginning of the 20th century. 



Bathing Procedures in the 20th Century 

At the beginning of the 20th century Superintendent Eisele acted to 
increase government control over the bathing regimen. A federal board 
of medical commissioners inspected the bathhouses in 1903 and found a 
number of unsanitary conditions. The board found that the laundry 
facilities of the bathhouses were inadequate to sterilize the towels and 
robes, that syphilitic patients and others drank hot water from the same 
glasses, that toilets were not properly cleaned after use by patients 

suffering from venereal diseases, and that bath attendants passed 

1 S 
contagious diseases from one bather to the next. 

Superintendent Eisele believed the report might be hypercritical of the 
conditions of the bathhouses, but he planned to take action on these 
matters. In February 1903 the Arkansas state legislature passed an act 
granting jurisdiction over a portion of the Hot Springs Reservation to the 
federal government. Eisele took advantage of this act to develop and 
promulgate new regulations for the bathhouses. These regulations set the 
responsibility and fees collected by the bath attendants, stipulated that 
bathers furnish bath towels and robes, and required the bathhouses to 
keep bathing facilities and toilets in a sanitary condition. In addition, 

the regulations required the bathhouses to provide a safe place for 

17 
bathers' jewelry, money, and other valuables. 

In 1904 Superintendent Eisele changed the procedure of collecting fees 
because bathers tended to avoid paying the attendants. The 
superintendent permitted the bathhouses to collect the attendants' fees 
when bathers purchased their bath tickets. Eisele believed that the 
practice of doctors directing patients to particular bath attendants 
distributed the work load unevenly. He ordered doctors not to specify 
one particular bath attendant for their patients. This practice gradually 



49 



ended, but many bathers requested the same bath attendant year after 

18 
year. 



During the first decade of the 20th century several changes occurred in 
the bathing regimen. The bathhouses began employing masseurs, 
chiropodists, and mercury rubbers. Also, the bath attendants began 
using bath mitts during the tub portion of the bath. The patient drank 
a glass of hot water at the beginning of his tub bath, and then the 

attendant rubbed the bather down with a bath mitt and soap. The bather 

19 
received another glass of water and lay down in the tub for a bath. 

The demolition of the old bathhouses and construction of the new ones 
during the first two decades of the century resulted in changes to the 
bathing regimen. The Maurice Bathhouse claimed to have 300 dressing 
rooms, extra-large tubs, and individual vapor, shower, and douche 
rooms. After the bath, the bather rested in a 40-foot by 40-foot lounge 
that was separate from the bath area. The Maurice offered a sun parlor, 
gymnasium, private rooms, and a hydrotherapy room. The Maurice also 
had a beauty parlor. It had "sunglow" glass to impart a healthy color to 
the skin and a gigantic mirror. Separate facilities were available for men 

and women. The bather could take electric light cabinet, Sitz, Nauheim, 

20 
and Turkish baths. Other bathhouses operated similar facilities. 

By 1912 the government had instituted programs to test both physicians 
and bathhouse attendants as to their fitness in their professions. The 
superintendent required the bathhouse attendants to submit to a physical 
examination before they would be allowed to work. Masseurs and mercury 
rubbers were required to register their qualifications with reservation 
officials. The superintendent amended the rule stipulating that bathers 
furnish their own bathrobes, and the bathhouses were required to supply 
bathers with sheets, which was considered more sanitary. Reservation 
officials frequently inspected the bathhouses during bathing hours to 

check on sanitary conditions. Women's sections were inspected after the 

21 
close of business. 



50 



In addition to these regulations, bathhouse managers were required to 
keep the following information: 



A complete daily report is rendered by the manager of each 
bathhouse, showing the name, home and local address, 
attendant, and doctor, if any, of each purchaser of a bath 
ticket, together with the total number of baths given each day, 
supplemented by a sworn monthly statement of the business of 
the bathhouse, and then at the end of each fiscal year a sworn 
annual statement is submitted by each bathhouse and the 
Arlington Hotel, showing the total receipts, itemized 
expenditures, and net profits for the fiscal year just closed; all 
the monthly and annual reports are carefully checked 
immediately upon receipt, and any discrepancies discovered are 
called-io the attention of the lessee or manager and corrected at 
once. 



Several bathhouses during the 1920s found an increasing demand for 
larger and more diverse facilities. They enlarged the women's bathing 
facilities to meet the needs of that growing clientele. They updated the 

men's gymnasium by providing it with new exercise equipment such as 

23 
barbells, Indian clubs, and punching bags. 

Although the bathhouses offered many amenities, the bathers still 
furnished their own bath mitts, towels, and blankets. The bathhouses 
laundered the towels and blankets and kept an extra supply for those 
customers who arrived without their own. The bathhouses furnished 
sheets. All sheets and towels were used only once before being 
laundered. The bathhouse managers kept close supervision over the use 

of these items because the bathhouses operated on Saturdays, Sundays, 

24 
and one-half day on most holidays — when laundry services were closed. 

Government regulation modified the bathing procedures slightly during the 
1930s. The tub bath could not take more than 20 minutes and the shower 
no more than 90 seconds. Also the Maurice and Fordyce bathhouse 
managers asked for and received permission to construct hydrotherapy 
pools. The Maurice Bathhouse constructed a pool in the basement of the 

bathhouse in 1932, and the Fordyce Bathhouse opened a Hubbard 

25 
Currence tub in 1939. 



51 





Time 


100 


20 min 


105 


1 min 


102 


3 min 


... 


2 min 



In the 1930s and 1940s park officials continued to conduct training 
courses for bath attendants and publish lists of registered physicians. 
Bath attendants received a course of instruction followed by an 
examination before they could work in one of the bathhouses. In 
addition, they took monthly physical examinations to make sure that 
patrons were not exposed to contagious diseases. A federal registration 
board gave a written exam to any doctor wishing to prescribe bathing in 
Hot Springs. This was done to ensure the quality of medical treatment in 
the spa community. 

Superintendent Preston P. Patraw set the following procedures for the 
bathing regimen: 



Maximum Permitted Temperatures 
Bath, tub 

(Drink 1 or more cups of water) 
Douche, to affected part . 
Douche, vaginal .... 

Vapor, head-in ..... 

(Only when under constant attention of 

attendant) 

or 

head-out . . . . . ... 5 min. 

(Apply cold sponge to head if desired) 
Pack Room . . . . . ... 30 min. 

(Drink 1 or more cups of water) 

Packs--wet, hot or cold 

to affected parts . . . ... 15 min. 

(Change every 3 to 5 min.; not more 

than 3 changes permitted) 
Bath, sitz 110 10 min. 

(No internal water treatment permitted 

while in sitz bath) 
Shower and Needle 

after pack . . . . ... 1 min. 

(Begin at 98 degrees and reduce to 
90 degrees) 
Cooling Room . . . . . ... 60 min. 



The actual bathing regimen consisted of an individual entering the 
bathhouse and going to the purchasing counter. The patient purchased a 
ticket, stored valuables, and gave the doctor's bathing instructions to the 



52 



counter person. The bathing instructions were passed on to the 
attendant and the bather was shown to a changing room to undress. 
After undressing and going into the bath room, the bather immersed 
himself in a tub of hot water between 96 and 98 degrees Fahrenheit. The 
bath attendant carefully watched a thermometer to keep the temperature 
constant and gradually raised it to 99 degrees. While in the tub, the 
patient drank warm water and received a rub with the bath mitt, which 
had coarse fiber on one side to stimulate the skin. Upon removal from 
the tub, the patient spent a short time in a vapor cabinet and sitz bath 
if prescribed by the physician. Next, the bather proceeded to the 

115-degree pack room, after which he went to the cooling room for a 

28 
tepid needle shower and then a light massage and alcohol rub. 

During the next few years, a number of small changes occurred. In 1944 
the bathhouse managers requested and received permission to furnish all 
towels for bathing. The next year the bathhouse managers decided to 
close on Sundays. In 1946 the Quapaw Bathhouse constructed a small 
laundry in the basement to wash towels, sheets, and other items 

connected with the bathing operations. Soon most of the other 

29 
bathhouses began to operate laundries. 

In the late 1950s and early 1960s the bathhouses began installing 
whirlpool equipment on their bathtubs. This equipment moved the warm 
water rapidly around the bather to provide a more relaxing bathing 
experience and relief for muscles and joints. Also, some bathhouses 

began changing from the traditional bath fee schedule of one, seven, 14, 

30 
or 21 baths to one, six, 12, or 18 baths. 

The bathing regimen gradually changed, with doctors' prescriptions being 
replaced by a generic one recommended by the park. In 1980 John 
Bannon Albright, a travel reporter for the New York Times , took a bath 
in the following manner. He spent 20 minutes in the bathtub and then 
received a rubbing with a bath mitt. Next he spent two minutes in a 
steam bath and 15 minutes wrapped with hot packs. Finally he rested in 
a cooling room for 20 to 30 minutes before dressing. These procedures 



53 



31 
are representative of the bathing regimen in the 1980s. All bathhouses 

are supposed to offer showers, steam cabinets, and sitz baths. 



MEDICINAL ASPECTS OF BATHING 

Joint and Skin Disease Treatment 

Newspaper accounts from the 1820s describe people who were suffering 
from rheumatism coming or being carried to the hot springs. These 
people found that soaking in the thermal water relieved their stiffness. 
One writer describes one such case in the following way: 



For the rheumatism it is perfectly specific — the time requisite 
for cure depends on the standing and violence of the attack. 
To give you some well authenticated instances, a man of the 
name of Dean was brought to the springs in 1827, in a wagon, 
who had been incapable of motion for three months--in six 
weeks time he completely recovered, and at an ^ejection held at 
the time made one of the hardest kind of fights. 



By the 1840s patients took vapor and tub baths to cure their stiff joints. 
One patient who threw away his crutches after seven days of bathing 
claimed that the ideal water temperature for a cure was between 95 and 
100 degrees. Hot douches became popular in the 1850s. This consisted 
of a hot stream of water being focused on a specific part of the body, 
such as a leg or shoulder, for half an hour or longer. Some bathers 
complained that after their first bath the rheumatic pain spread 
throughout their body and disappeared only after a few weeks of bathing. 
Scientific experts claimed that the baths cured joint diseases by 
stimulating the blood to circulate faster and clean out dead and poisonous 
materials around the joints. Skeptics claimed that the cure mainly 

consisted of people relaxing at Hot Springs and believing they would be 

, 33 
cured . 



54 



By the 1870s the rheumatic or arthritic patrons who came to Hot Springs 
took the standard tub and steam bath regimen to effect a cure. One 
doctor in Hot Springs used a vapor bath through which electricity passed 
to benefit sufferers of rheumatism, sciatica, paralysis, and neuralgia. 
Several contemporary doctors claimed that the natural electric qualities of 
the water promoted the cure of joint diseases. 

The procedure for treating rheumatism and other joint diseases changed 
slightly in the 1880s as physicians began prescribing medicine such as 
quinine and benzoate of lithia along with the baths. One Hot Springs 
physician found the thermal waters of little value for the relief of 
rheumatic gout or rheumatic arthritis; other physicians highly 
recommended the water for those ailments. Hot Springs physicians 
generally agreed that the hot waters relieved the pain of gonorrheal 
rheumatism. Unknown to 19th century physicians, this relief provided 
only a temporary respite from the disease. People did best at Hot 
Springs when they arrived in a robust condition before the water 
treatment. 

Rheumatism ranked second to syphilis in the reasons why people came to 
Hot Springs in 1885. Many testimonials from the departure register of 
the Government Free Bathhouse describe how an invalid came to the 
springs crippled and left in good health. Doctors claimed that the hot 
water stimulated all bodily functions and this effected the cure. 

During the 1890s the treatment of rheumatism changed slightly. Patients 
drank large quantities of hot water because physicians believed this would 
stimulate the flow of bodily fluids. Physicians claimed that the hot water 
enlarged the blood vessels, promoting the secretion of poisonous wastes 

within the body. Doctors discovered that rheumatism was better treated 

i 37 
after the inflammatory stage passed. 

The first decade of the 20th century resulted in two discoveries that 
bolstered Hot Springs' claim to curing rheumatism. First came the 
discovery of traces of lithium in the thermal water. This chemical helped 



55 



relieve the suffering of gouty and rheumatic persons. Second, testing of 
the thermal waters in 1904 by Dr. Robert Boltwood revealed indications of 
radioactivity in the thermal water. Physicians believed that radioactivity 

helped stimulate metabolism and gave relief to arthritic and rheumatic 

38 
persons. 

As early as 1909 hydrotherapists recommended a large pool of hot water 
for exercise for rheumatic persons. The water's buoyancy allowed them 
to exercise and strengthen weak muscles. Exercises, along with massages 
to relax and stretch the muscles, helped to relieve stiffness and provide 
more agility. Most bathhouses in the early 1920s operated hydrotherapy 
departments. In 1932 the Maurice Bathhouse opened hydrotherapy pool, 
and later the Fordyce Bathhouse opened a Hubbard Currence therapy 
tank facility. At the Fordyce Bathhouse a physical therapist conducted 

30 minutes of exercises after which the patient spent some time cooling off 

39 
and resting. 

The upper part of the Hubbard Currence tub tank had a lateral 
hour-glass shape with side levels. This enabled manipulation of upper 
body joints and muscles in a vertical position. An adjustable plinth 
beneath the water allowed attendants to manipulate a person in a 
horizontal position. Two electrically driven turbines, possibly one in the 
Fordyce, agitated the water in the tub to create a gentle massage. An 
overhead carrier brought immobile patients to the tub and lowered them 
into the water. This device could be used for arthritic patients, muscle 
reeducation for sufferers of infantile paralysis, group application of 
whirlpool baths, and therapy to the hip, shoulder, or knee joints. This 

tub operated from December 1936 until April 1942. After that it was used 

40 
unofficially and without a specifically hired therapist. 

The pools and tubs were reserved for the most severe cases of 
rheumatism and arthritis. (The Maurice pool was often used by young 
people in perfectly good health.) The usual regimen was a 15- to 
30-minute bath, three minutes in a vapor cabinet, and then hot packs 
applied to particular areas of the body. This procedure continued for 



56 



several weeks. Hot Springs physicians maintained that these baths 
stimulated the body's production of white blood cells and in this way 
eased the effects of arthritis and rheumatism. In addition, the thermal 
water reduced the swelling and pain associated with these diseases. 

In 1956 the bathhouse managers agreed to create a Hot Springs National 
Park physical medicine center to concentrate physical therapy and add 
physical therapy practices prevalent in hospitals. The number of 
government free baths had declined to the point that it was much more 
economical to have medical examinations done by private physicians and 
have the baths distributed among the commercial bathhouses. 

The physical medicine center opened in 1958 and took over most of the 
responsibility for treating arthritis, rheumatism, and other joint diseases. 
Called the Libbey Memorial Medicine Center, it used whirlpool baths, 
massage, and water exercise in treating muscle and joint diseases. 
Several bathhouses continued a limited amount of treatment for joint 

diseases. The manager of the Maurice Bathhouse closed and reopened the 

42 
hydrotherapy pool several times. 



Treatment of Venereal Disease 

No truly effective means of controlling syphilis or gonorrhea came before 
the advent of sulfa drugs in the late 1930s. Large doses of mercury and 
iodides of potassium often led to serious complications, such as loss of 
teeth, fissures of the tongue, and hemorrhaging of the bowels. When 
symptoms (temporarily) disappeared, doctor and patient believed that a 

cure had occurred. Instead, the diseases merely were dormant or 

43 
attacking a different part of the body. The thermal waters of Hot 

Springs, however, gained a reputation in the early 19th century as 

having the ability to cure venereal disease. An article in the Arkansa s 

Gazette of 1829 claimed that "when the [body's] system has been 

saturated with mercury which has been imperfectly purged out, they will 

salivate again after a great lapse of time and carry off the mercury. Old 



57 



and fixed venereal taints are also eradicated by their [thermal water 
,,44 



Treatment for syphilis in the 19th century included taking mercury. 
Sometimes people took mercury orally, and at other times it was rubbed 
into the skin or injected by needle. People came to Hot Springs to 
remove mercury from their bodies. Physicians at this time believed that 
the mercury somehow combined with the toxins of the venereal disease 
and then needed to be flushed from the body. The physicians believed 
that the baths at Hot Springs more effectively removed mercury from the 
body than the conventional means of expelling the chemical. Patients 
bathed in the hot water until salivation began, which signaled the body's 
expulsion of the mercury. This process usually lasted from two to four 
weeks, after which the people left Hot Springs. When the bathhouses on 
Bathhouse Row became regulated, they were prohibited from bathing a 
person with an open sore or drainage. Private physicians had to see to 

the corrections of the active stages of the disease before the baths could 

45 
be taken. 

The major difference between normal venereal disease treatment and the 
treatment at Hot Springs was that doctors prescribed up to tenfold the 
usual amount of mercury. Two popular ways of administering mercury at 
Hot Springs in the 1880s were by rubbing or fumigation. An early 
procedure for rubbing mercury was that approximately two hours after a 
thermal bath, a bath attendant arrived and rubbed into the skin 
one-sixth of an ounce of mercury ointment known as a "paper." The 
ointment usually was rubbed into the outside of the leg, hip, or thigh, 
and on the back. This procedure continued for 24 treatments. The 
patient also took iodide of potassium orally as part of the treatment. The 
fumigation procedure consisted of sitting in a vapor cabinet with liquid 
mercury in a container in the cabinet. The hot water gasified the 

mercury, which formed a vapor that coated the person with a thin film of 

46 
mercury. 



58 



By the 1890s the majority of the people who came to Hot Springs hoped to 
obtain a cure for some form of venereal disease. They usually stayed for 
six weeks to three months. A number of patients complained that after 
leaving Hot Springs their symptoms reoccurred. One Hot Springs doctor 
suggested that people needed to continue the mercury treatment for 18 

months or two years after leaving Hot Springs to obtain a permanent 

47 
cure. 

Toward the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century 
treatment of venereal diseases changed slightly. Bathhouses employed 
special attendants, mercury rubbers, to administer the mercury ointment. 
The patient gave the prescribed mercury to the rubber who administered 
the ointment with either bare hands, a bath mitt, or a brush; later the 
rubbers wore gloves. After the application of the mercury ointment, the 
rubber bandaged that portion of the body to keep the mercury from 
coming off. The bandage remained until the following day when the 
patient took a hot bath. Sometimes they wrapped patients in hot blankets 
and a rubber outer blanket to increase perspiration in order to remove 
the mercury from the body. 

Iodide of potash and iodide of lithium were prescribed for syphilis and 
gonorrhea sufferers. The two medicines were mixed with water and taken 
three times a day. Patients received twice the normal dosage because 
physicians believed that the hot water accelerated the process of expelling 

medicine from the body. Treatment for gonorrhea was similar to that for 

49 
syphilis but emphasized diet, rest, and drinking the thermal water. 

Treating venereal disease continued to be a major activity for physicians 
in Hot Springs during the first three decades of the 20th century, and 
the U.S. Public Health Service-operated Camp Garaday concentrated on 
treatment and control of these diseases. In the 1940s penicillin and other 
drugs replaced the use of thermal water as a treatment for venereal 
diseases. Antibiotics eliminated the need for the patient to expel the 
chemical from his body. In the final analysis, the thermal water provided 
only a temporary respite and not a cure from these diseases. 



59 



Treatment of Diseases of the Stomach, Heart, Liver, Kidney , 
and Intestines at Hot Springs 

From the 1820s people came to Hot Springs seeking relief from diseases of 
the major body organs. Those suffering from consumption most often 
found that the thermal waters and vapor baths only aggravated their 
conditions. Within a few years, people suffering from consumption 
received warnings that drinking the waters at Hot Springs might result in 
death. Throughout the 19th century those suffering from lung diseases 
were discouraged from seeking a cure at Hot Springs — with two 
exceptions. The Missouri Pacific Railroad encouraged those suffering 
from "la grippe" to convalesce in Hot Springs for a week or two. Also, 
drinking the thermal waters reportedly helped one abstain from using 
tobacco. 

Physicians in the early 1860s recommended drinking the thermal waters 
for people with various stomach ailments. They maintained that the water 

contained minerals that neutralized the body's natural acidity and 

51 
promoted healing. Nineteenth century promoters of Hot Springs claimed 

that the water helped cure any number of liver diseases, including 

alcoholism. These promoters claimed that bathing in the water helped 

cleanse the liver of toxic wastes. They also claimed that drinking the 

thermal water purged the system of alcohol and left one with a distaste 

for liquor. Some physicians prescribed the thermal water for diseases 

affecting the heart and brain, and other physicians warned people with 

52 
heart and brain diseases to avoid the thermal baths. 

At the beginning of the 20th century interest developed in treating heart 
diseases at Hot Springs. Several bathhouses, including the Maurice and 
Buckstaff, began using the Nauheim bath to treat those with cardiac and 
vascular diseases. The Nauheim bath consisted of a thermal bath with 
added chemicals to create a saline solution. Once the patient became 
immersed in the water, carbon dioxide was pumped through the water, 
helping to create a condition which drew the blood to the peripheral parts 
of the body. This alleviated strain on the heart and allowed the heart to 
contract and rest. 



60 



As a further inducement for those with heart disease to come to Hot 
Springs, an Oertel system of graduated exercise (similar to one used in 
Bad Nauheim, Germany) was laid out in 1914-1915. This walking and 
hill-climbing course provided heart patients with an appropriate amount of 
exercise. The system had four hiking courses laid out with stone 
markers every 300 feet. A color system of yellow, green, blue, and red 
marked the courses from comparatively flat to those with a very steep 
slope. Patients strengthened their hearts by using these various courses 

on Hot Springs Mountain. The trails eventually fell into disuse, but a 

54 
few concrete markers can still be found along park hiking trails. 

In the 19th and 20th centuries hot water baths were considered beneficial 
in the treatment of kidney diseases. One specialized bath used in kidney 
treatments at Hot Springs was the sitz bath. The patient sat in a small 
bathtub in which the thighs, buttocks, and abdomen were immersed in hot 
water. The bath lasted from three to 10 minutes. The thermal water 
dilated the blood vessels and thus increased the blood flow through the 
kidneys and lower back area. Today, the sitz bath is part of the 
standard bath regimen. 



Miscellaneous Diseases Treated at Hot Springs 

Physicians also claimed thermal bathing was helpful for diarrhea, 
dysentery, nervous disorders, eye diseases, Bright's disease, circulatory 
diseases, hay fever, diabetes, spinal diseases, blood diseases, poisoning, 
sterility, menstruation problems, hair restoration, tonsillitis, migraine 
headaches, ringworm, locomotor ataxia, high blood pressure, insomnia, 
sore throat, cholera, malaria, skin diseases, measles, obesity, and gall 
bladder problems. In addition, physicians prescribed thermal baths as a 
general health tonic. Physicians did not recommend the water for cancers 

or pregnant women after the 10th week. They believed that the warm 

56 
baths could induce a natural abortion. 



61 



Most of these ailments were treated by the standard bath regimen of the 
time. A few treatments deserve special mention. When cholera broke out 
in the southern part of this country in 1892, people were advised to 
travel to Hot Springs because of the purity of the thermal drinking 
water. Alum Springs became a favorite spot for people to wash their 
eyes and drink the water for sore throats. Doctors treated malaria by 
ordering the patient to bath in the warm water and drink large dosages 
of quinine. They believed the thermal water helped activate the 
protozoan Plasmodium to begin procreating when they would be vulnerable 
to the quinine. Obesity was treated with baths and diet. 



Medical Equipment and Techniques Used at Hot Springs 

Turkish Bath . The Turkish bath lowered the blood pressure and pulse 
while stimulating the circulatory system; physicians prescribed it for 
circulatory problems and syphilis. The bather prepared for this by 
drinking several glasses of water, taking a shower, and then sitting in a 
chamber of hot air (between 120 and 140 degrees) wrapped in a sheet and 
a cold turban for not more than 30 minutes. When he started to 
perspire, the bather left the hot-air chamber and took a warm shower. 
Then he lay down, was washed with warm water and soap, and had a 
massage. The bather next took a cold shower, dried off, and rested for 

c:o 

30 to 60 minutes. Only one or two of these baths were allowed a week. 
At Hot Springs, the Turkish bath took place in a hot dry-air room or 

cabinet. People took this bath during the last part of the 19th and the 

59 
first part of the 20th centuries. 

Russian Bath . The Russian bath was very similar to the Turkish bath 
except that instead of a dry-air room, the patient sat in a vapor cabinet 
for 10 to 30 minutes. This bath proved helpful to those suffering from 
rheumatism, skin diseases, and respiratory diseases. Heart patients were 
warned not to take this bath as it might prove too much strain on their 

hearts. Only one or two of these baths were recommended during a 

. 60 
week. 



62 



Electric Light Bath . This bath consisted of a vapor cabinet lined inside 
with light bulbs. (Later a radiator supplied added heat.) The bath 
attendant kept the temperature from going above 180 degrees Fahrenheit. 
The bather took a standard bath before entering the cabinet. Only the 
head and neck protruded outside the cabinet, and the head was covered 
with a moist, cold towel or cap that was changed every five minutes. 

The patient received cold water to drink. This treatment was given for 

61 
only short periods of time. 

The cabinet helped relieve the suffering caused by rheumatic affections, 
gout, syphillis, and nervous disorders and was used in treating obesity. 
Many bathhouses at Hot Springs offered electric light baths at a slightly 
higher cost than the standard bath regimen. This treatment was limited 
to once or twice a week. 

Douches . Most of the bathhouses constructed at the beginning of the 
20th century contained hydrotherapy departments that offered a variety 
of douches. The needle spray douche became part of the standard bath 
regimen. This consisted of a metal cage composed of hollow tubes with 
outlets the size of needles covering the tubing so the thermal water would 
strike the bather's skin from four directions simultaneously. The needle 
spray at temperatures from 96 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit warmed and 

CO 

softened the skin in preparation for other treatments. 

Another douche used at Hot Springs was the Scotch douche. This 
consisted of a nozzle that directed a concentrated stream of hot or cold 
water at a patient. The stream was often directed to the lower back 

areas and was alternately hot and cold water for dilating the blood 

64 
capillaries. This relieved sciatica and rheumatism. 

The perineal douche consisted of directing a stream of hot water to a 
specific portion of the body after the bather was completely relaxed. 
This douche was used on the eyes, nose, throat, and anal and vaginal 
areas of the body. In the latter, it was part of the treatment for 

i ^ 65 

venereal disease. 



63 



Notes from Chapter 3 



1. McDermott, The Western Journals , p. 104n. 

2. Jones, "Hot Springs: Ante-Bellum Watering Place," p. 10; Francis 
J. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
pp. 37-38; and Brown, The American Spa , p. 28. 

3. Hot Springs National Park, Francis J. Scully Collection, Thermal 
Water File. 

4. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
pp. 38-39; and Jones, "Hot Springs, Ante-Bellum Watering Place," 
pp. 20-21. 

5. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
p. 41. 

6. A popular apparatus for drinking the hot water was a teapot-shaped 
bucket with a long spout known as the Ral can. Bathers purchased these 
in the local stores. "Going in Hot Springs," Arkansas Gazette , 7 August 
1872, p. 4; and Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National 
Park , p. 54. 

7. Ibid., p. 40-41. 

8. The Hot Springs of Arkansas : America's Baden-Baden ( Illustrated) : 
Where \t J_s; What ]t J_s and How to Get There (St. Louis, Missouri: St. 
Louis Iron Mountain and Southern Railway Co., 1877), p. 19; George 
French to Kelley, April 28, 1880, Entry 1, Box 5, RG 79, NA; Benson 
and Libbey, "History of Hot Springs, National Park," pp. 16-17; E.B. 
Stevens, "Hot Springs, Arkansas," Transactions of the Thirty-First 
Annual Meeting of the Ohio State Medical Society Held at the Put-In-Bay , 
June 20, 21, 22, 1876 31 (1876): 196; and Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas 
and Hot Springs National Park , pp. 59-60. 

9. The electrical and other types of baths, vapors, and douches will be 
discussed in greater detail in the portion of this report describing medical 
applications of the thermal water. Henry M. Rector to Kelley, May 22, 
1880, Entry 1, Box 5, RG 79, NA; Amos Hadley to Secretary of the 
Interior, January 27, 1881, Entry 1, Box 6, RG 79, NA; and "Big Iron 
Bath House" Hot Springs Illustrated 3 (June, 1879), n.p. 

10. Samuel Hamblen to Henry M. Teller, February 8, 1883, Entry 1, 
Box 8, RG 79, NA. 

11. "Report of George W. Baird on Hot Springs Reservation," August 3, 
1889, Entry 1, Box 14, RG 79, NA; Charles E. Maurice to C.B. Piatt, 
October 26, 1889, Entry 1, Box 11, RG 79, NA; and Reynold W. Wilcox, 
"The Hot Springs of Arkansas," (typescript), Scully Collection, Thermal 
Water File. 



64 



12. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
p. 168; James F. Hastings to William F. Vilas, July 18, 1888, Entry 1, 
Box 10, RG 79, NA; and George G. Latta and William G. Maurice to 
Secretary of the Interior, February 18, 1888, Entry 1, Box 10, RG 79, 
NA. 

13. European and American spas used 21 baths to represent a full 
course, but the importance of this number for affecting a particular cure 
remains questionable. Robert Proctor to Frank M. Thompson, August 26, 
1889, Entry 1, Box 11, RG 79, NA. 

14. "Bath House Rules," The Hot Springs Medical Journal 1 (March 15, 
1892): 68; and William Little to Secretary of the Interior, October 15, 
Entry 1, Box 21, RG 79, NA. 

15. J. George Wright to Secretary of Interior, April 19, 1898, Entry 1, 
Box 22, RG 79, NA; and Eisele, Report of the Superintendent of the Hot 
Springs Reservation to the Secretary of the Interior, 1903, pp. 15, 
17-22. 

16. C. Travis Drennen to Secretary of Interior, August 21, 1903, 
Entry 1, Box 28, RG 79, NA. 

17. Eisele to Secretary of the Interior, Entry 1, Box 28, RG 79, NA; 
and Eisele, Report of the Superintendent of the Hot Springs Reservation , 
pp. 10-11. 

18. Eisele to Secreatry of Interior, October 14, 1904, Entry 1, Box 29, 
RG 79, NA; and Eisele to Secretary of Interior, November 7, 1904, 
Entry 1, Box 30, RG 79, NA. 

19. M.R. Richards, "The Hot Baths at Hot Springs," Scully Collection, 
Thermal Water File; and W. Scott Smith, Report of the Superintendent of 
Hot Springs Reservation (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1908), pp. 14-15. 

20. John Milton Cutter, ed. and comp., Cutter's Official Guide to Hot 
Springs , Arkansas and the United States Government Reservation : The 
World's Greatest Health Resort , 57th ed. (n.p.: Charles Cutter and Son, 
1913), pp. 13-33; Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs 
National Park , pp. 182-183; Harry H. Meyers to Secretary of Interior, 
December 15, 1911, Entry 6, Box 337, RG 79, NA; Buckstaff Bath House , 
Hot Springs , Ark . (n.p.:n.p., 1912), pp. 4, 6, 8; and Harry H. Meyers 
to Secretary of Interior, December 2, 1912, Entry 6, Box 340, RG 79, 
NA. 

21. Harry M. Hallock to Secretary of Interior, August 23, 1912, Rhodes 
Collection, Box 4, Background Data 1907-1911 File. 

22. William P. Parks, Report of the Superintendent of the Hot Springs 
Reservation (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1915), pp. 4-5. 



65 



23. F.J. Goodwin to Secretary of Interior, October 16, 1924, Rhodes 
Collection, Box 2, Maurice Bathhouse File; William P. Parks to Director of 
the National Park Service, June 9, 1921, Rhodes Collection, Box 2, 
Maurice Bathhouse File; Eugene J. Stearn to Parks, June 3, 1921, Rhodes 
Collection, Box 2, Maurice Bathhouse File; Gilbert E. Hogaboom to 
Director of the National Park Service, August 15, 1921, Rhodes 
Collection, Box 2, Buckstaff Bathhouse File; Joseph Bolton to Manager of 
Buckstaff Bathhouse, February 26, 1925, Rhodes Collection, Box 2, 
Buckstaff Bathhouse File; A.T. Henderson to Joseph Bolton, January 27, 
1925, Rhodes Collection, Box 2, Quapaw Bathhouse File; and F.J. 
Goodwin to Joseph Bolton, August 14, 1925, Rhodes Collection, Box 2, 
Maurice Bathhouse File. 

24. "General Instructions to Bathhouse Managers of Hot Springs National 
Park, Arkansas," October 1, 1924, Entry 6, Box 322, RG 79, NA. 

25. Thomas J. Allen, Jr., "Annual Report for Hot Springs National 
Park," 1934, Rhodes Collection, Box 4, Background Data 1930-1934 File; 
Ralph W. Emerson to Thomas C. Vint, November 6, 1936, Rhodes 
Collection, Box 4, Background Data 1935-1939 File; Donald S. Libbey, 
"Hot Springs National Park," 1938, Rhodes Collection, Box 4, Background 
Data 1935-1939 File; and Preston P. Patraw, "Hot Springs National Park," 
Rhodes Collection, Box 4, Background Data 1935-1939 File. 

26. "School for Bath Attendants Will Open October 4," New Era , 
September 24, 1938, Hot Springs National Park, newspaper clippings 
1936-1945 Scrapbook in Special Collections; and "Registered Physicians," 
14 December 1949, The Hot Springs v isitors Bulletin , p. 5. 

27. Preston P. Patraw, "Routine Bathing Instructions," 14 December 
1949, The Hot Springs Visitors Bulletin , p. 19. 

28. The bath mitt consisted of a lined terry cloth mitten without a thumb 
and with the palm side covered with fiber from the loofah gourd. This 
fiber came from Japan and was part of their bathing regimen. Scully, 
Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , pp. 128-129; 
Euclid M. Smith, "The Principles of Spa Therapy," Scully Collection, Spa 
Therapy File (Typewritten); "Bathe Your Way to Health in the Thermal 
Waters At Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas," The Hot Springs 
Visitor's Bulletin , June 12, 1943; and Work Projects Administration, 
p. 155. 

29. George C. Bolton to Superintendent, Hot Springs National Park, 
December 1, 1944, Entry 7, Box 1228, RG 79, NA; Donald S. Libbey, 
"Annual Report for Hot Springs National Park for the Year Ended 
June 30, 1945," Rhodes Collection, Box 4, Background Data 1940-1949 
File; and Thomas Boles, "Annual Report for Hot Springs National Park for 
the Year Ended June 30, 1947," Rhodes Collection, Box 4, Background 
Data 1940-1949 File. 

30. The Hale Baths (n.p.:n.p., circa 1960), p. 6. 



66 



31. John Bannon Albright, "Taking the Waters That Give Hot Springs, 
Ark., Its Name," The New York Times , 24 December 1980, sec. 20, 
pp. 6-7; and Norsworthy, pp. 92-96. 

32. "The Hot Springs," The Arkansas Gazette (Little Rock), 26 August 
1829, p. 1. 

33. Murray Gaines to John W. Noble, June 1, 1891, Entry 1, Box 13, 
RG 79, NA; Owens, p. 22; E. Hillis Larkin, "Analysis of Hot Springs, 
Arkansas," Scully Collection, Thermal Water File (Typewritten), n.p.; 
and A.J. Wright, "Some Account of the Hot Springs of Arkansas," Scully 
Collection, Thermal Water File (Typewritten), n.p. 

34. E.B. Stevens, "Hot Springs, Arkansas," Scully Collection, Thermal 
Water File (typewritten), n.p.; John B. Brooks to Carl Schurz, Entry 1, 
Box 3, RG 79, NA; and The Hot Springs of Arkansas : America's 
Baden-Baden , p. 19. 

35. James T. Jelks, "Hot Springs of Arkansas and Their Therapeutical 
Indications," Scully Collection, Thermal Water File (Typewritten), n.p.; 
Allan M. Brandt, No Magic Bullet : A Social History of Venereal Disease 

the United States Since 1880 (New York: Oxford University Press, 



in 



" ■ «•' >*• win i^«-i *-> i.aicj ^n i n-c i uuv vincw Fuirs. uaiuiu uiiivei any ncai, 

1985), p. 11; and Reynold W. Wilcox, "The Hot Springs of Arkansas," 
Scully Collection, Thermal Water File (Typewritten), n.p. 

36. M. McKeogh to Charles W. Field, September 1, 1885, Entry 1, 
Box 10, RG 79, NA; and Charles W. Field, Report of the Superintendent 
of the Hot Springs Reservation , to the Secretary of the Interior , 1885 
(Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1885), pp. 6-7. 

37. T.M. Baird, "The Hot Springs of Arkansas, A Therapeutic Agent," 
Scully Collection, Thermal Water File (typewritten), n.p.; and Henry M. 
Rector, Jr., "Then and Now," The Hot Springs Medical Journal 4 
(August 15, 1895): 226. 

38. John K. Haywood, The Hot Springs of Arkansas : Report of an 
Analysis of the Waters of the Hot Springs on the Hot Springs 
Reservation , Hot Springs , Garland County , Ark . (Washington, D.C.: 
GPO, 1902), p. 78; "Radio-Active," unidentified newspaper clipping, ca. 
1904, Entry 1, Box 29, RG 79, NA; and "Evidence of Radium," 
unidentified newspaper clipping, ca. 1904, Entry 1, Box 29, RG 79, NA. 

39. Euclid M. Smith, "Underwater Therapy in Chronic Arthritis," 
Archives of Physical Therapy , X-Ray , Radium 16 (September, 1935), 
pp. 534-536; Joseph Bolton to Director, National Park Service, December 
27, 1927, Rhodes Collection, Box 2, Maurice Bathhouse File, Francis J. 
Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
pp. 126-127; M.T. Relyea to George L. Collins, July 20, 1931, Rhodes 
Collection, Box 2 Maurice Bathhouse File; Collins to Director, National 
Park Service, July 20, 1931, Rhodes Collection, Box 2, Maurice Bathhouse 
File; Nelda King, "Pool Therapy," Scully Collection, Thermal Water File 
(Typewritten), p. 905; Louis G. Martin, "Under Water Physiotherapy and 



67 



Pool Therapy," The Journal of the Arkansas Medical Society 30 (April, 
1934):229; Relyea to Donald S. Libbey, June 4, 1937; Rhodes Collection, 
Box 2, Maurice Bathhouse File; and Maurice F. Lautman, "Hydrotherapy 
in Arthritis," Archives of Physical Therapy , X-Ray , Radium 16 
(September 1935): 108. 

40. "The Hubbard-Currence Underwater Therapy Tank," Entry 7, 
Box 1234, RG 79, NA (Typewritten). 

41. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , p. 
218; Scully, "Spa Therapy of Arthritis and Rheumatic Disorders," 
Archives of Physical Medicine 26 (April, 1945): 233-235; Radio Family 
Physician, Arthritis (Hot Springs: Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce, 
n.d.), pp. 3-4; and Richard Kovas, "Spa Treatment of Rheumatic 
Diseases in the United States," Archives of Physical Medicine 26 
(November 1945): 684-684. 

42. "Proposed Concession Contract for Operation of Physical Medicine 
Center in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, Submitted to Congress," 
June 18, 1956, K34, News Media Publicity 1938-1956 File, Hot Springs 
National Park; "Hot Springs National Park Physical Medicine Center," 
Scully Collection, Physical Medicine File (Typewritten), n.p.; "Physical 
Medicine Center Organization is Completed," Scully Collection, Physical 
Medicine File (Typewritten), n.p.; and H. Raymond Gregg, "Coordination 
of Hydrotherapy Services and Medical Practice at Hot Springs National 
Park, Arkansas," paper presented at the 1961 meeting of the Association 
of American Spas at Hollywood Beach, Florida, 2 November 1961. 

43. Brandt, No Magic Bullet , pp. 11-12. 

44. "The Hot Springs," The Arkansas Gazette , 26 August 1829, p. 1. 

45. Henry H. Morton, Genitourinary Diseases and Syphilis (St. Louis: 
C.V. Mosby Co., 1918), pp. 756-758. 

46. William H. Van Buren and Edward L. Keyes, A Practical Treatise on 
the Surgical Diseases of the Genito-Urinary Organs , including Syphilis - 
Designed as a Manua l for Student and Practitioners with Engravings and 
Cases (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1884), pp. 559-563; J.M. 
Keller, "The Hot Springs of Arkansas," The Hot Springs Medical Journal 
1 (February 15, 1892): 30; George W. Gavin, "Personal Impressions of 
the Arkansas Hot Springs with a Report of a Case," New York Medical 
Journal 45 (June 1884): 656-658; and James T. Jelks, "Hot Springs of 
Arkansas and Their Therapeutical Indications," 1 (June, 1882): 513-518. 

47. "Hot Springs and Syphilis," The Hot Springs Medical Journal 1 
(March 15, 1892): 69; and M.G. Thompson, "Mercury in the Treatment of 
Syphilis," The Hot Springs Medical Journal 1 (March 15, 1892): 49-51. 

48. "Upon the Use of Hot Water - With Special Reference to Hot Springs, 
Arkansas," Hot Springs Medical Journal 5 (December 1896):405; "Minutes 
of a Conference to Discuss the Advisability and Feasibility of a Proposed 



68 



Investigation of the Therapeutic Value of the Waters at Hot Springs held 
October 27, 1923, in the rooms of the National Research Council, 1701 
Massachusetts Avenue, Washington, D.C.," Entry 6, Box 333, RG 79, 
NA; H. Sheridan Baketel, The Treatment of Syphilis (New York: The 
Macmillan Company, 1920), p. 87; E.A. Purdum, "The Thermal Baths in 
the Treatment of Syphilis," The Journal of the Arkansas Medical Society 
27 (December 1930): 138-139; Thomas N. Black and W.M. Blackshare, 
Hydrotherapy in the Treatment of Syphilis , (n.p.:n.p., 1930), pp. 3-6; 
and United States Department of the Interior, Hot Springs National Park , 
Arkansas : Regulations Covering Bathhouses and Their Operations Bath 
Attendants and the Federal Registration Board (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 
1937), pp. 17-18. 

49. L.E. Russell, "The Virtues of Hot Springs, Arkansas," The 
American Medical Journal of St. Louis , Missouri 25 (1897): 110-111; 
Thomas N. Black and W.M. Blackshare, Instructions for Patients 
Suffering From Gonorrhea (Hot Springs, Arkansas: n.p., n.d.), 
pp. 1-4. 

50. "The Hot Springs," The Arkansas Gazette 26 August 1829, p. 1; 
Van Cleef, The Hot Springs of Arkansas , 1878 , p. 5; and "Relief for 'La 
Grippe' Sufferers," The Hot Springs Medical Journal 1 (February 15, 
1892): 45. 

51. "Going to Hot Springs," The Arkansas Gazette , 7 August 1872, 
p. 4; and Van Cleef, The Hot Springs of Arkansas , 1878 , p. 5. 

52. Algernon S. Garnett, A Treatise on the Hot Springs of Arkansas 
(St. Louis: Van Beck Barnard & Tinsley, 1874), p. 40-41; and Stevens, 
"Hot Springs, Arkansas," p. 196. 

53. M.T. Relyea to Donald S. Libbey, March 13, 1938, Rhodes 
Collection, Box 2, Maurice Bathhouse File; Harry H. Meyers to Secretary 
of Interior, December 15, 1915, Rhodes Collection, Box 2, Maurice 
Bathhouse File; and Rebekah Wright, Hydrotherapy in Psychiatric 
Hospitals (Boston: The Tudor Press, 1940), p. 224. 

54. William H. Deadrick, "The Oertel System of Graduated Exercise," 
The New York Medical Journal 103 (May 13, 1916): 925-926; and Scully, 
Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , p. 131. 

55. Bert Nash, Hot Springs National Park : The Valley of the Vapors 
(Texarkana, Texas: A Husseman-Nash Production, 1947), p. 20. 

56. "Trip to Mountain Valley Springs," Southern Standard ( Arkadelphia, 
Arkansas) 2 August 1873, p. 4; Garnett, A Treatise on the Hot Springs 
of Arkansas , pp. 40-44; James W. Buel and Joseph A. Dacus, A Tour of 
St Louis or The Inside Life of a Great City (St. Louis: Western 
Pliblilhlnlj Co., 1878), p. 359; Cutter, p. 30; Charles W. Field to 
Secretary of the Interior, March 30, 1888, Entry 1, Box 10, RG 79, NA; 
McKeogh to Field, September 1, 1885, Entry 1, Box 10, RG 79, NA; H. 
Mills, '"Manataka"' The Arkansas Gazette 5 April 1892, p. 1; "Sanitary 



69 



Notes," The Hot Springs Medical Journal 1 (October 15, 1892): 218; 
"Cholera," The Hot Springs Medical Journal 1 (October 15, 1892): 
208-209; William J. Little to Secretary of the Interior, February 22, 1894, 
Entry 1, Box 17, RG 79, NA; "The Medicinal Value of the Hot Springs 
(Arkansas) Waters," American Journal of Health , 23 (December 15, 
1896):6-7; "Going to Hot Springs," The Arkansas Gazette 7 August 1872, 
p. 4; J.S. Silvey, "How a Visitor Looks at Hot Springs," Unidentified 
newspaper clipping, 11 March 1909, Entry 6, Box 330, RG 79, NA; 
General Information Regarding the Hot Springs of Arkansas (Washington, 
D.C.: GPO, 1912), p. 7; and George B. Fletcher, Treatment of 
Conditions Affecting the General Nervous System : The Place of Health 
Resort Therapy (n.p.: American Medical Association, 1944), pp. 5-6. 

57. Field to Secretary of the Interior, March 30, 1888, Entry 1, Box 10, 
RG 79, NA; "Sanitary Notes," p. 218; "Cholera," pp. 208-209; "The 
Medicinal Value of the Hot Springs (Arkansas) Waters," pp. 6-7; Silvey, 
"How a Visitor Looks at Hot Springs," Unidentified newspaper clipping, 
11 March 1909, Entry 6, Box 330, RG 79, NA; and Little to Secretary of 
the Interior, February 22, 1894, Entry 1, Box 17, RG 79, NA. 

58. William H. Dieffenbach, Hydrotherapy : A Brief Summary of the 
Practical Value of Water in Disease for Students and Practicians of 
Medicine (New York: Rebman Co., 1909), pp. 92-94. 

59. Ibid., pp. 92-94; and General Information Regarding the Hot Springs 
of Arkansas , p. 11. 

60. Wright, Hydrotherapy \n Psychiat ric Hospitals , p. 195; Dieffenbach, 
Hydrotherapy , p. 95; and General Information Regarding the Hot Springs 
of Arkansas , p. 11. 

61. Dieffenbach, Hydrotherapy , pp. 97-98. 

62. Ibid., p. 98; and William J. Little, Report of the Superintendent of 
Hot Springs Reservation 1898 , (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1898), p. 5. 

63. Wright, Hydrotherapy [n Psychiatric Hospitals , pp. 109-110. 

64. Ibid., p. 112. 

65. Dieffenbach, Hydrotheraphy , p. 58. 



70 



CHAPTER 4: THE HISTORY OF HOT SPRINGS FROM THE CIVIL WAR 

TO THE PRESENT 



HOT SPRINGS DURING THE CIVIL WAR 

The South Carolina legislature, on December 20, 1860, passed an 

ordinance dissolving the union between the state and the United States of 

America. Soon thereafter, other southern and border states began 

planning similar conventions. The shelling of Fort Sumter by Confederate 

forces on April 12, 1861, and its surrender the next day moved events 

quickly toward Civil War. The Arkansas secession convention on May 6 

adopted an ordinance to withdraw their state from the union. On May 10 

the convention adopted a proposal to join the Confederate States of 

1 
America. 

The outbreak of the Civil War left Hot Springs with a declining bathing 
population. After the Confederate forces suffered defeat at Pea Ridge in 
March 1862, the Union troops advanced toward the Confederate capital of 
Little Rock. Confederate Governor Henry M. Rector moved his staff and 

state records to Hot Springs. Union forces did not attack Little Rock 

2 
and the government returned to the capital city on July 14, 1862. 

Many residents of Hot Springs fled to Texas or Louisiana and remained 

there until the end of the war. In September 1863 Union forces occupied 

Little Rock. During this period, Hot Springs bacame the prey of 

guerrilla bands loosely associated with either Union or Confederate forces. 

They pillaged and burned the near-deserted town, leaving only a few 

3 
buildings standing at the end of the Civil War. 



71 



THE HOT SPRINGS COMMISSION 

Conditions Before 1877 

After the Civil War an extensive rebuilding of bathhouses and hotels took 

place at Hot Springs. John Hale returned and rebuilt his bathhouse, and 

Hiram Whittington again rented out rooms. The year-round population 

soared to 1,200 inhabitants by 1870, and bathhouses were offering 

amenities such as iron pipes to carry the hot water from the springs, 

oilcloth floormats in the bathrooms, and even rugs and mirrors in 

4 
dressing rooms. Others had iron tubs. Five bathhouses existed in 

1871. 5 

By 1873 six bathhouses and 24 hotels and boardinghouses stood near the 
springs. In 1874 a most dramatic event came when Joseph Reynolds 
announced his decision to construct a narrow gauge railroad from Malvern 
to Hot Springs. Completion of the railroad came in 1875 and resulted in 
the growth of visitation to the springs. 

Three entrepreneurs, Samuel W. Fordyce, William Gaines, and Samuel 
Stitt, financed the construction of the first luxury hotel in the area. 
The Arlington Hotel opened its doors in 1875. About the same time, the 
Big Iron Bathhouse, with a sheet-iron exterior and built over Big Iron 
Springs, was doing a booming business. 

After the Civil War a number of bills were introduced in the United States 
Congress to settle various conflicting land claims at Hot Springs. In May 
of 1870 Congress passed a bill allowing all claims to land at the Hot 
Springs Reservation to be settled by the Court of Claims. This resulted 
in an April 24, 1876, United States Supreme Court ruling that affirmed 
that the land title of Hot Springs belonged to the United States 
government. A court-appointed receiver collected rents on all properties 
at Hot Springs. 



72 



Establishment of the Hot Springs Commission 

The 1876 Supreme Court decision resulted in the introduction in the 
United States Congress of a bill calling for the establishment of a 
three-member commission to adjudicate all land claims there. This 
legislation passed, and President Ulysses S. Grant signed the legislation 
into law on March 3, 1877. President Rutherford B. Hayes appointed 
Aaron H. Cragin (chairperson), John Coburn, and Marcellus L. Stearns 
to the Hot Springs Commission. John W. Anderson received an 

appointment as clerk, and Frederick A. Clark became chief engineer and 

8 
surveyor. 

The commission's tasks included: 



First: Straightening and widening old streets; laying out new 

streets, avenues, alleys, &c, in the entire town of Hot 

Springs. This work requires careful study and a high order of 

engineering, as the ground is of peculiar nature. 

Second. The hearing of arguments in contesting claims, and 

the final adjudication in 897 cases, and the preparation of 

findings in each case. About one-half the cases are simple and 

undisputed, the main question being on the facts whether the 

claimant is entitled to the whole or a part of the land claimed. 

The other cases are more or less complicated and conflicting, 

two or more persons claiming the same lot, involving disputed 

questions of fact and law. 

Third. The appraisal of each lot awarded. 

Fourth. The resurvey of each lot, after adjudication of the 

claims, in order to define the lines and ascertain the exact 

amount of ground to be certified to each claimant as required 

by the law. 

Fifth. The appraisal of improvements upon each lot awarded. 

The claimant does not pay for the improvements but the law 

requires their appraisal. 

Sixth. The division of the land not claimed or awarded, into 

lots, squares, or blocks, and appraisal of the same, 

preparatory to the sale to the highest bidder, but not less than 

the appraisal. 

Seventh. Preparing and issuing certificates to each claimant, 

who is adjudged the right to purchase, setting forth the amount 

of land claimant is entitled to purchase, the value thereof, 

character and value of improvements; these certificates being 

the only evidence of claimant for foundation of patent. 

Eight. Condemning all buildings upon the permanent 

reservation and in the line of streets, appraisal of the same, 

and preparing and issuing certificates thereof. 



73 



Ninth. Preparation of map embodying the results of the whole 
work to be filed with the Secretary ot the Interior, accompanied 
by the schedule provided by the law. 



The commission surveyed and set aside 264.93 acres encompassing the hot 
springs and Hot Springs Mountain to be a permanent government 
reservation. Another 1,270 acres became the Hot Springs townsite, with 
700 acres awarded to claimants. The townsite consisted of 196 blocks and 
50 miles of streets and alleys. The remaining portion of the original four 
sections of government land, the commission found, consisted of hills and 
mountains. These lands, for the most part, were wooded and 
unoccupied. The commission recommended that Congress reserve these 

areas for public parks. Congress acted on this recommendation in June 

10 
of 1880 by adding those lands to the permanent reservation. 

Along with the work of the commission, another sign of renewed federal 
interest in the hot springs came in October of 1877 with the arrival of 
Benjamin F. Kelley, the first resident government superintendent in Hot 
Springs. He immediately formulated a series of regulations for the 
protection and use of the hot springs. Kelley's tasks included taking 
protective measures to preserve the springs for future generations, fixing 
water leasing prices for the bathhouses and hotels, equitably distributing 
the thermal water to bathhouses and hotels, evicting squatters from the 
government reservation, providing inexpensive bathing facilities to all 

people, and providing for indigent bathers. These tasks provided work 

11 
for superintendents for years to come. 

In addition to the government changes in Hot Springs, the local residents 
made a number of significant changes in the town's environment. The 
buildings were generally larger than those three decades earlier. Figures 
6-8 show one- and two-story wooden-frame buildings with gabled roofs. 
Many of the buildings had false fronts, undoubtedly to present a more 
commercial and businesslike appearance. Figure 9 shows Hot Springs in 
1875, looking north. The commercial buildings on the left side of the 
illustration were built nearly abutting to each other. The bathhouses on 



74 



the opposite side of the street had more space between each other. The 
erosion of the banks around Hot Springs Creek was evident. Cattle 
waded through the creek. The only access to the bathhouses was over 
the separate bridges to each of them, and no walkway existed on that 
east side of the creek. A handful of buildings with mansard roofs 
appeared throughout the town, not only in bathhouses like the Big Iron, 
but also in a few residences, giving Hot Springs a more cosmopolitan 
nature. Along the main street in front of the bathhouses (first known as 
Valley, and later as Central, Avenue) were intermittent wooden 
boardwalks and bridges over Hot Springs Creek to the bathhouses and 
hotels. The figures illustrate the severe erosion and lack of vegetation 
along both sides of the street. A street railway connected the train 
station with Bathhouse Row. 

One contemporary account complained about the "unsubstantial manner" in 

which the buildings were constructed, but the author was expecting 

12 
better structures to be erected as the land claims were settled. The 

Hot Springs commissioners felt the same way. In their report of 

November 1877 they recommended settling the land claims as quickly as 

possible because "as long as disputes exist and titles remain unsettled, 

the growth of Hot Springs will be retarded, the character of building will 

13 
be temporary, and the accommodation for visitors . . . limited." ' For 

the most part, the commission report was correct, but some effort had 

gone into constructing the buildings. Also, considering the lack of rail 

transportation up until that time, bringing more substantial building 

materials to the area was costly. Thus, the "unsubstantial" architecture 

of Hot Springs resulted from both political and geographical factors. 

A dramatic fire in the spring of 1878 briefly interrupted the work of the 
commission. The commission received an extension from Congress to 
complete its tasks. Commissioner John Coburn evaluated the work of the 
commission as follows: 



On the 15th of December the work of the Hot Springs 
Commission was completed. The bickerings and disputes as to 



75 



the claims and titles, which had for more than half a century 
vexed the people there, were finally ended. Certificates for 
the right to purchase the lots in the newly-laid-out town had 
been issued to the proper claimants. The old streets had been 
straightened and widened, and new ones laid out; the houses, 
fences, and all obstructions removed from them; a permanent 
reservation set off, covering the Hot Springs and the mountain, 
of 265 acres, and the rest of the 2,500 acres laid off into 
blocks and lots, and appraised, and maps, plats, records, and 
evidence in support of claims filed in the office of the Secretary 
of the Interior. The work was one of great magnitude and 
involving many difficult legal questions arising out of the 
complications begotten by the contract's lawsuits, deaths, 
inheritances, trespasses, intrigues, forgeries, perjuries, and 
murders, covering a lapse of 60 years. The entire 
reconstruction of a town of 3,500 inhabitants involving disputed 
claims at every step was no little task, and required the 
exercise of patient investigations, sound judgment, and careful 
though/t. The most eminent lawyers in Arkansas were engaged 
in the legal contests covering several months in the trials and 
arguments of the disputed claims. 



HOT SPRINGS IN 1878 

A reporter from Harper's Weekly traveled to Hot Springs in early 1878 to 
describe to readers the mountain resort community. He found men and 
women at the spa, hoping to be cured of skin, blood, and joint diseases. 
The town had a variety of hotels, boardinghouses, saloons, restaurants, 
and bathing facilities for visitors. The drugstores, doctors' offices, and 
saloons stood on the west side of the main street, and the bathhouses 
stood to the east across Hot Springs Creek by Hot Springs Mountain. 
Some bathhouses, like the Big Iron Bathhouse, offered the bathers 
individual waiting rooms and were equipped with speaking tubes to 
communicate from one room to another. At the other extreme, the 
bathing facilities for the Corn Hole and Pool of Siloam on Hot Springs 
Mountain had only rude wood and canvas coverings over the thermal 

springs. Around these springs a small community of the destitute and 

15 

infirm gathered, living in tents and huts. 

Various activities occurred on the streets of Hot Springs. Hogs freely 
wandered the streets of the city feeding on refuse. The post office, a 



76 



distribution point for letters, magazines, and newspapers, attracted large 
crowds. Freight wagons hauled supplies to the stores and hotels, and 

local hunters brought in wild game for meals. The streets were crowded, 

1 fi 
noisy, and bustling with activity. 

Those who disobeyed the law were either fined or incarcerated in the 
county jail. The jail was a log blockhouse entered by stairs that led to 
an opening 12 feet above the ground. The prisoners descended into the 
jail by a ladder that was then retracted by the jailer. For more 
law-abiding visitors, churches (Episcopal, Methodist, Roman Catholic, and 

white and black Baptist) served the spiritual needs of the community. 

1 7 
The fire in the spring of 1878 destroyed much of this community. 



HOT SPRINGS IN THE 1880s AND 1890s 

A look at Hot Springs after 1878 revealed considerable progress. The 

1878 fire left the Arlington Hotel, Little Rector, Rector, Big Iron, and 

Hale bathhouses on Bathhouse Row untouched. A year later the 

reservation's administration authorized the construction of a carriage road 

to the top of Hot Springs Mountain where an observatory was built. 

Brick commercial buildings throughout the city became more common after 

1882 when the Gaines block was constructed south of Bathhouse Row. 

Because the fire had been so devastating, fireproof construction was 

becoming a matter of concern. A sidewalk of oak planks 16 feet wide 

stretched along the west side of Central Avenue in front of the private 

businesses. Electric streetlights lit the streets at night. The face of the 

town was changing rapidly, yet much remained to be done. Hot Springs 

Creek in some places was an open sewer where hogs took the liberty of 

cooling off during the summer heat. By 1879 the town government passed 

ordinances stating that hogs were no longer allowed the freedom of the 

street—and Hot Springs Creek. Similar ordinances regulating horses, 

mules, cattle, and goats were enacted by 1884 (fig. 10). The rural 

1 8 
aspects of Hot Springs' main street began to disappear. 



77 



By 1884 large physical changes were underway along Bathhouse Row. 
The first change was the construction of the Army and Navy Hospital at 
the southeast corner above Bathhouse Row on the slope of Hot Springs 
Mountain. In 1882 the Department of the Interior gave 24 acres to the 
War Department for the construction of this veterans' hospital. The 
hospital buildings (fig. 11) were brick and wood, with a Gothic verticality 
that was reinforced by the steep mountain site above Bathhouse Row. 
The buildings seemed to tower over the relatively diminutive bathhouses 
and commercial buildings. 

Undoubtedly, the most important change to Bathhouse Row was the 
construction of the Creek Arch in 1884. The "arch" is actually a large 
vaulted structure through which the runoff waters pass. The Creek 
Arch eliminated the need for separate bridges across the creek. The 
arch was covered with earth, and its top provided enough room for the 
construction of a sidewalk in front of the bathhouses. A few years later 

a row of lombardy poplars was planted where the Magnolia Promenade now 

19 
exists. The trees and sidewalks added cleaner lines to the landscape, 

established appropriate setback for buildings constructed later, and 

provided a space for planting vegetation to improve the front elevations 

of the entire row of buildings. 

By 1884 visitors found Hot Springs an exciting place. The city was 
experiencing a building boom, with an equal number of churches and 
saloons constructed to serve residences and visitors. Many amenities 
associated with larger communities, such as weekly parades, street cars, 

electric lights, telephones, and daily newspapers, were now available in 

... A . 20 

this Arkansas spa. 

Construction on a number of Central Avenue bathhouses occurred in the 
1880s. From north to south were the Arlington Hotel, constructed in the 
1870s and rebuilt in 1892-93; the Rector, built before 1883 and rebuilt by 
1891; and the Big Iron, built in 1877 and condemned by the city and 
removed around 1891. South of these buildings stood the brick Superior 
Bathhouse, constructed sometime between 1887 and 1889. William Nelson, 



78 



in the early 1880s, constructed a bathhouse near the site of the Hale 
Bathhouse, which became known as the "Old Hale." In 1892 this 
bathhouse was rebuilt using stone, brick, wood, and iron. South of this 
stood the Independent Bathhouse, which opened for business between 
1880 and 1883. The Independent became the first Maurice Bathhouse 
about 1893. Charles Maurice and Samuel W. Fordyce in the early 1880s 
built the Palace Bathhouse next to the Independent. Next came the 
Horseshoe (built 1888), Magnesia (built ca. 1885), Ozark (built 1880), 
Rammelsberg (built ca. 1893), and Lamar (built ca. 1893). 21 

The Department of the Interior built the first carriage drives and bridle 

paths on Hot Springs and North mountains and also constructed seats for 

22 
invalids along the trails in 1885. Both the tendency to stress mild 

exercise in the medical treatments and the 19th century romantic view of 

nature were reasons for this additional natural development, although 

following the course set by great spas of Europe was undoubtedly the 

primary reason. 

In January of 1890 came the opening of the Hotel Eastman, which at the 

time was heralded as the largest hotel in the United States with 500 guest 

23 
rooms. By 1890 the numbers of visitors using the Hot Springs baths 

increased. Even though the spa's business was booming, the bathhouses 

were falling down around their occupants' ears. A special investigator 

came to Hot Springs at the request of the secretary of the interior to 

check into a number of situations at the reservation, including the 

condition of the bathhouses. That investigator, Thomas H. Musick, noted 

that 



the Big Iron and the Old Hale are no longer fit for use and 
need to be rebuilt . . . and several of the others will need 
rebuilding in no very long time. All agree that the vapor from 
the hot water rots all timber with which it comes in contact in 
remarkably short time. Therefore rebuilding should be in brick 
and lower beams at least of iron and lower floors of concre£| 
and marble. No more wooden buildings should be allowed. 



79 



Musick also recommended longer leases, so that bathhouse owners could 
recoup their investments, and he recommended that the department 
prohibit the economic pooling of financial resources. The typical 
five-year leases, for instance, discouraged improvements to the 
properties. The existence of the "pool" of bathhouse owners discouraged 
competition among the bathhouses because the owners preferred to 
equalize earnings. For the most part the department followed Musick's 
recommendations, and the effect of those recommendations on Bathhouse 
Row's architecture slowly appeared. The Big Iron and Old Hale were 
condemned and torn down. Bathhouse Row was now ready to assume its 
20th century shape. 

By 1894 the new Imperial Bathhouse sat on the corner between the 
pumphouse and the Army and Navy Hospital. This building, with its 
Moorish horseshoe-shaped windows, followed an architectural tradition that 
had become established in Hot Springs for some as yet undocumented 
reason—ties to Spanish architecture. The Eastman Hotel, for example, 
sported turrets similar to a Spanish medieval castle (fig. 12). 
Promotional literature for the New Arlington (fig. 13), which opened in 
1893, boasted of its Spanish Renaissance architecture, preferring to 
ignore the Eastman's allusions. The Arlington's Spanish Renaissance style 
was 



admirably adapted to the location and in striking contrast with 
that of other hotel structures in this city. . . . The two main 
corners of the building are emphasized by handsomely designed 
towers, twenty feet square, that extend thirty or forty feet 
above the roof, making excellent observatories, and adding to 
the general artistic effect. Special care has been given to the 
exterior„ 5 to make it thoroughly artistic in proportion and 
design. 



The Arlington's location, size, and style dominated Bathhouse Row as the 
northern landmark of the row in what is now Arlington Lawn. Two other 
bathhouses sported Spanish allusions. The Alhambra Bathhouse (fig. 14) 
had a Moorish feeling to its horseshoe-shaped window openings and onion 
dome. The Horseshoe Bathhouse (fig. 15) was named for the shape of its 



80 



window openings. The choice of Spanish/Moorish allusions in some of Hot 
Springs developed out of the late-Victorian preference for the 
exotic--when bizarre and exotic styles dominated architecture. What 
remains a mystery is why so many Hot Springs builders chose Spanish 
characteristics for so many of the major buildings in the vicinity of 
Bathhouse Row. The entrepreneurs most likely developed a preference 
for Spanish styles because of the area's possible association with Soto, 
although this hypothesis about stylistic choices has yet to be proven. 

Hotels showed the biggest advancements in construction during the 1890s. 
The Eastman contained five stories built in "colossal dimensions," with a 
fancy dining room and even steam heat and electricity for the comfort of 
its patrons. From the "observatory"--the highest turret—visitors could 
see "a magnificent cyclorama of mountain and vale and forest streams, 

which well repays the exertion of the ascent." The fireproof quality of 

27 
the building was also promoted. The Park Hotel (fig. 16) complex 

included a 10-acre park and had a "perfectly fireproof bathhouse." The 

red-brick Arlington had four stories, corner towers, and 300 rooms. The 

hotel provided three concerts a day for its guests, a large rotunda for 

gathering, and an enormous dining hall. The smaller hotels boasted brick 

construction in most instances, but sometimes just comfort and 

convenience. Even though 15 bathhouses were in operation at the time, 

literature of the period listed prices of baths but little additional 

information on amenities. Most of the narrative was devoted to the fine 

traits of the hotels and the extra services they offered. Following the 

course set by Saratoga, Hot Springs promoted all of the additional 

28 
pursuits that visitors could enjoy in conjunction with their baths. 

Bathhouse construction also improved. Statutes of 1891 required that "all 

buildings to be erected on the Reservation shall be on plans first 

approved by the Secretary of the Interior, and shall be required to be 

fireproof, as nearly as practicable." The same series of laws prohibited 

29 
economic pooling, which increased competition among bathhouses. After 

pooling was prohibited, the bathhouse owners were forced to seek 

individual characteristics that would bring visitors to their bathhouse. 



81 



After the turn of the century the architecture, in particular, reflected 
this change in the law. 

Other physical changes happened to the reservation and affected the 
overall look. In 1892 the War Department detailed Lieutenant Robert R. 
Stevens of the 6th Infantry to the Department of the Interior to work on 
landscape improvements for Hot Springs Reservation. Stevens developed 
the first master plan for the area. Stevens also oversaw the construction 
and design of the Grand Central Entrance (figs. 17 and 18). Flanking the 
entrance were columns topped with bronze eagles and the balustrade 
leading up to the stone bandstand pavilion at the top, which were finally 
completed in 1896. The sidewalk in front of Bathhouse Row between 
Fountain and Reserve avenues was a wide concrete walk, along which 
visitors could stop at a series of hot-water drinking fountains "which 
together with the neatly clipped grass, the rare shrubbery and flowers, 
the trees and comfortable seats, make it not only a distinctive feature of 

Hot Springs, but a matter of great convenience and pleasure to 

30 
invalids." The Noble Fountain, now at the entrance to the Grand 

Promenade, graced the southwest corner of Bathhouse Row (fig. 19). 

Two exedra fountains flanked the Grand Central Entrance; the small shell 

fountain had its niche in Stevens Balustrade below the stone pavilion. 

The Maurice historic spring had a dripping spring where visitors 

captured the water off a rock green with algae until it became an 

enclosed cup fountain. The Block Fountain, shortly replaced by the Hoke 

Smith Fountain, anchored the northern end of Bathhouse Row near the 

Arlington Hotel. 

The superintendent of the reservation was quite pleased with all of 

Stevens' work and highly praised the landscaping developments in his 

annual report. He seemed to particularly enjoy the fact that the stone 

pavilion attracted a "better class of visitors, who find it cool and view 

ns 
32 



31 
the reservation from this somewhat elevated position." The fountains 



drew literally thousands of people who partook of the waters daily. 
Stevens' work provided a unifying central feature in the entrance and 
laid the idea for the linear unity that the promenades later completed. 



82 



His work added a formal architectural character to Bathhouse Row. The 
Army transferred Stevens to Yellowstone National Park in 1895. 

Author Stephen Crane visited Hot Springs in 1895 and noted that the 
main street had a very "cosmopolitan" nature that "undoubtedly typifies 
the United States better than does any existing thoroughfare, for it 
resembles the North and the South, the East and the West." To him, the 
remaining wooden structures in consort with the large commercial blocks 
and the varied colors from greys to brights was much like seeing a 
cross-section of American town architecture, but here all assembled in one 
place (fig. 20). He saw the bathhouses as the 



abodes of peculiarly subdued and home-loving millionaires. . . . 
Crowds swarm in these baths [fig. 21]. A man became a 
creature of three conditions. He is about to take a bath--he is 
taking a bath--he has taken a bath. ... In the quiet and 
intensely hot interiors of the buildings men involved in 
enormous bath robes lounge in great rocking chairs. In other 
rooms, the Negro attendants scramble at the bidding of the 
bathers. Through the high windows the sunlight enters and 
pierces the„ curling masses of vapor which rise slowly in the 
heavy air. 



Visitation to Hot Springs at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th 
centuries dramatically increased because of several factors. These 
included the growing popularity of spa resort vacations in both Europe 
and America, improvement in railroad transportation to the city, increased 
promotion of the hot springs, and the work of the United States 
Government in improving the spa. 

Transportation improved in 1889 when the railroad changed from narrow 
to standard gauge, thus permitting passengers to travel to Hot Springs 
without changing railroad cars in Malvern. In 1893 Colonel Uriah Lott 
began planning for a second railroad to run between Little Rock and Hot 
Springs. Lott acquired the right-of-way, but failed to begin 

construction. A company known as the Little Rock, Hot Springs and 
Western Railroad formed to complete the second railroad, but ran out of 



83 



money with tracks only four miles west of Benton. Samuel Fordyce 
organized his own railroad company (known as the Little Rock Hot 
Springs, and Western) and completed the railroad into Hot Springs in 
1899. 34 



Thus, Hot Springs underwent enormous changes after the Civil War. In 
the 1870s board-and-batten and clapboard-sided wooden buildings lined 
both sides of the town's main street. What little stylistic detailing the 
buildings possessed was usually Greek Revival in origin. The increase in 
tourism after the devastating fire of 1878 and resolution of the land title 
question resulted in more architectural amenities and a greater variety of 
architectural styles in the hotels and bathhouses to attract more visitors. 
Queen Anne and Second Empire styles abounded. After 1880 builders 
more frequently used brick in commercial buildings on the west side of 
Central Avenue, so they were able to make larger interior spaces. 
Ornament for these structures most often appeared on the front 
elevations. Some ornament graced the side elevations of the bathhouses 
on the east side of the street. Unlike other commercial structures whose 
sides abutted, the free-standing bathhouses had exposed sides warranting 
decoration to maintain image. 

The town's physical character also changed dramatically. The 
construction of the Army and Navy Hospital with its gothic, vertical 
emphasis provided an architectural landmark — visible for miles--at the 
southeast corner of Bathhouse Row. To the south was the enormous 
Hotel Eastman. The surrounding buildings diminished the architectural 
presence of the row of bathhouses; nonetheless the row remained 
impressive. Along that linear development of Bathhouse Row, fountains 
at both ends and in the center of the row broke up the flatness of the 
pavement. The Grand Central Entrance provided a break in setback and 
divided Bathhouse Row in its center. The bathhouses themselves 
consisted of a variety of styles, sizes, and materials. At the north end 
of Bathhouse Row, the large Arlington Hotel anchored the development. 
Hot Springs had a new image. 



84 



BATHHOUSE ROW FROM 1900 TO 1919 

Central Avenue took on a cluttered appearance just after the turn of the 
century. The street railway cars, originally powered by horses and 
mules, were replaced with electric trolley cars and accompanying lines 
above the street in 1893. Telephone lines installed in 1903 also stretched 

or 

above the street (fig. 22). Across from Bathhouse Row stores sold 

oriental rugs, brass, jewelry, clothing, and the like. Reservation 
Superintendent Martin Eisele reported that the bathhouses provided plenty 
of bathing facilities and that no new bathhouses were needed. Instead, 
he began to concentrate his efforts on improving facilities and services. 
For instance, he required all bathhouses to install equipment for 
sterilizing towels and robes. The array of bathhouses along Central 

Avenue gave the street a cluttered appearance because of the various 
architectural styles. 

Hot Springs was again struck by fire on February 26, 1905, and the fire 

again destroyed much of the downtown business district, including 400 

37 
buildings on 104 acres of land. Two years later the city ordinances 

required that all buildings within the fire district have exterior walls of 

stone, brick, or iron, with stone or concrete footings. In brick 

construction, every sixth course had to be a header course. Gutters on 

buildings could no longer be wood, but had to be of fireproof 

38 
construction; wooden cornices were outlawed on new construction. The 

building codes affected only those structures within the fire district, and 

from the descriptions the reservation was left out of that district. The 

Department of the Interior, however, had been requiring new construction 

to be fireproof since shortly after Investigator Musick completed his 

report in 1891. City codes were sometimes followed, although properties 

on federal lands were not bound by these codes. 

The bathhouse managers knew that fireproofing and decay-resistant 
construction were important to the Department of the Interior, and they 
used those features as leverage in requesting longer leases. Charles 
Rix, for instance, requested the longest possible lease on the Imperial 
Bathhouse site because 



85 



the construction of the Imperial Bath House is of the most 
enduring material for permanency and sanitation being of brick, 
iron, marble and tile, encaustic tile, slate and nickel trimming 
and the bathing department had no exposed wood surfaces 
except the door frames and doors^ And our bath tubs are 
imported solid porcelain ware. . . . 



The Hot Springs medical director boasted about the modern, sanitary, and 
fireproof construction of the New 
some of the other new bathhouses. 



fireproof construction of the New Maurice and the marble tile finishes in 

40 



In the last decade of the 19th century, government investigators and 
superintendents criticized the conditions of the bathhouses. Reservation 
superintendents developed criteria for the bathhouse owners to meet 
before renewal of their leases. As the bathhouse leases came due along 
Bathhouse Row, the owners either began planning expansions and updates 
or closed down operations. 

Another fire in September 1913 swept through the business district and 
wiped out 50 city blocks. The fire destroyed the last of the small 
wooden-frame buildings that had managed to survive into the 20th 
century. Because people were still recovering from the previous fire, the 
cost of available labor and building materials skyrocketed as most of the 
city's fire district was rebuilt again. 

Some of the bathhouse owners on Bathhouse Row used the exorbitantly 
high cost of materials as an excuse to delay construction of new 
bathhouses that the Department of the Interior was requiring in their 
leases. The owners of the old Ozark, for instance, felt that the new tile 
and enamel that they had installed updated their building enough to keep 
it in use for at least another year. They also argued that the clientele 
of the Ozark could not afford the Buckstaff, Imperial, Maurice, and other 
more expensive bathhouses. Because the Palace was being demolished, 
they argued, keeping the Ozark in operation for another year was the 
only sensible approach. 



86 



During the first two decades of this century both the federal government 
and the bathhouse owners began intense studies of European bathing 
establishments to see how Hot Springs could be improved. In 1906 
architect Howard Greenley wrote a "Report on the Bathing Establishments 
of Europe and the Incorporation of Their Systems of Operation in a 
Suggested Scheme for the Improvement of the Present Bathing Facilities at 
Hot Springs Government Reservation, Arkansas, U.S.A." He studied 
Aix-les-Bains in France and the Imperial Bath at Budapest and noted that 
in both of those places the baths lacked a "large, ample, architectural 
scheme." But he saw that the conditions at Hot Springs were perfect for 
developing a uniform scheme of enormous architectural proportions in a 
bathing establishment. His recommendations for Hot Springs included 
redistributing, changing, or removing buildings; improving roads and 
transportation; drawing up a "unified scheme on architectural lines"; 
having the United States assume control of all the bathhouses; and 
preserving Central Avenue as a mall. His comment on the existing 
conditions at Hot Springs was that "there is nothing except the excellence 
of the waters of Hot Springs and the purely natural beauty of the 
mountain surroundings to attract guests or to answer in any adequate 

manner to their comfort and amusement. From an aesthetic standpoint, 

42 
conditions are very poor." Greenley's reasons for submitting this plan 

to the Department remain a mystery. The correspondence does not 

indicate whether he submitted the plan unsolicited or whether he was paid 

for it. His submission, however, does indicate the strong interest in 

European spas and their design. 

Greenley's vision for Hot Springs included a division into three functional 
areas: bathing, habitation, and recreation. The bath hall would be one 
large building around a court (back to the Roman palaestra). The 
residential area would include a hotel for 400 guests, with appropriate 
dining rooms, cafes, and restaurants, and also cottages and pavilions for 
"private families disposed on picturesque sites and in easy communication 
with the hotel proper." His recreation area included casinos, concert 
halls, ballrooms, covered terraces, a men's club and athletic field, 

gardens with malls surrounding the casinos and hotel, picturesque grottos 

43 
with fountains, and finally a bottling plant. 



87 



Bathhouse owners also looked to Europe for direction in improving their 
facilities. Bathing had become so popularized in Europe that L'Ecole des 
Beaux Arts, the premier architectural school in the world, used the 

design of a "model bathing establishment" as the problem for the 1889 

44 
Grand Prix de Rome architectural competition. Colonel Samuel W. 

Fordyce traveled extensively through Europe and the United States 

studying bathing facility architecture and equipment so that he could 

45 
build the most advanced bathhouse on the row. William Curtis, 

attorney for the owners of the Ozark Bathhouse, collected information on 

46 
bathhouses and bathing in Bath, England. Hot Springs was confident 

enough to discard its provincial shell and consider its place in the 

worldwide bathing industry. 



At the same time that the reservation staff and bathhouse owners were 
looking toward Europe for planning ideas, the bathhouses on the row 
were becoming outdated in terms of architectural style and technology. 
Despite the frequent updating and painting required by the Department of 
the Interior, the buildings decayed--as any wooden-frame structure would 
when exposed to the warm, humid temperatures required for bathhouses. 
The steady increase in bathers and the push for upgraded facilities 
resulted in the final phase of bathhouse construction. The builders 
experienced some delays in raising the necessary funds for rebuilding 
because of regional financial problems, but the superintendent was willing 
to put up with temporary delays as long as he could "see all of these 

frame bathhouses on which the leases have expired removed from the 

47 
reservation at the earliest possible date." 

The final phase started when the Hale Bathhouse was constructed in 
1892-93. Next, leases for the Maurice and the Rammelsburg bathhouses 
expired in 1911, and the buildings were demolished. The handsome new 
Maurice was built along Mediterranean lines in January 1912. The 
Neoclassical Buckstaff opened a month after the Maurice, and the 
remodeled, ever-exotic Imperial opened in April of that year. The 
Spanish/ltalianate Fordyce opened in 1915 on the site of the old Palace 
Bathhouse. The Maurice and the Fordyce, the two most opulent 



88 



bathhouses, appropriately flanked the Grand Central Entrance. The Hale 
was modernized and reopened in 1915. The new Superior opened in 1916. 
The Quapaw opened its doors on the sites of the Horseshoe and Magnesia 
bathhouses in 1922, and the new Ozark opened the same year. The old 
Government Free Bathhouse was demolished and replaced by a new 
structure off Bathhouse Row on Reserve Avenue. The Lamar was 
completed in 1923. 

While this final phase of bathhouse construction was underway, the 
Missouri Pacific-Iron Mountain Railroad began bigger promotions of Hot 
Springs. One pamphlet began with quotes from the Bible, moved into a 
short discussion of classical antiquity and Greco-Roman bathing, and then 
talked of the wonderful waters that poured out of the "splendidly wooded" 

mountains where the scene "uplifts the heart" and where "nature is . . . 

48 
in her most entrancing mood. The pamphlet emphasized the romantic 

landscape and the government improvements, including protecting spring 

water from contamination and the landscape improvements. The pamphlet 

described Bathhouse Row as an array of "pretty" bathhouses 



of various architectural styles, some of them quite imposing in 
their fronts of stucco ... or cement. They are separated 
from the street by wide lawns in front of spacious porches. 
The lawns are decorated with flowers and shrubs. Inside some 
of them are sumptuously fitted. They are positively luxurious. 
Some of them remind you of the modern swell hotel. And all 
are the acme of cleanliness. The tubs are porcelain. The 
bathrooms are sanitary to the last detail. The lounging rooms 
are ventilated at different temperatures. There are rest rooms 
in which people may read. In some places a concert is given to 
those who have baths, morning and evening. Nothing one 
could conceivably want after a bath is unobtainable. And you 
can get any kind of bath that the ingenuity of a man has 
devised--vapor, Turkish, needle, shower, electric. There are 
rooms for medical treatment in conjunction with these baths. 
These are sun-bath rooms with softened lights of different 
hue. . . . You pass to these rooms over mosaic floors^ 
between marble walls. The furniture is in exquisite taste. 



The variety of diversions and services available to the bather in Hot 
Springs was approaching what was available in ancient Rome or at 



89 



contemporary European spas. The new bathhouses attracted thousands 
of visitors to Hot Springs. Celebrities from the world of sports, 
entertainment, and politics came to Hot Springs to take the baths. The 
open gambling attracted big-time gangsters to this resort community. 

One historic problem that had been plaguing bathhouse design was 
incorporating cooling towers into the design. The water was so hot 
coming out of the earth that it could not be used for bathing without 
being cooled or mixed with cold water. Originally each bathhouse had its 
own spring to supply water for bathing. Early bathhouse owners resisted 
a central collection system because the individual springs had reputations 
for curing certain ailments. Under this system though, one bathhouse 
could run out of water at peak times while another could have a surplus. 

In 1888, $31,000 was allotted for the construction of a reservoir and 
collection system for the springs water, but another bill passed in 1891 
authorized the secretary of the interior to build a system "only where 
such collection is necessary for its proper distribution, and not where by 
gravity the same can be properly utilized." The pumping system 

constructed at such great expense was never used. The cooling towers 
remained on each of the bathhouses. The approval of bathhouse design 
by the Department of the Interior was still required, however, which left 
the superintendent some power over the design. In the remodeling and 
extension of the Imperial Bathhouse, for instance, the tank for holding 
the hot spring water was changed after the departmental review so that 
in the final design it was included in one building "of pleasing 
architectural appearance . . . and . . . the general scheme of design of 

the exterior of the old building will be carried out in the alterations and 

..51 
extension . 

The department also imposed a "skyline requirement," although its exact 
meaning remains somewhat elusive at this writing. The owners of the 
Ozark wrote to the new director of the National Park Service (NPS) in 
1916 concerning this issue. They pointed out that the Buckstaff, 
Maurice, Imperial, and Hale bathhouses had their iron storage tanks 



90 



approved "as has been the custom the last thirty years," and they 
wondered how they were supposed to cool water when the department 

refused to let them build a cooling tower with the "skyline 

+ ..52 
requirement. " 

The final phase of bathhouse construction was well underway in 1916 
when architects George Mann and Eugene John Stern of Little Rock were 
awarded $10,000 to prepare an overall plan for the development of 
Bathhouse Row, along the lines of what Greenley proposed to prepare in 
1906. Their report was submitted to the secretary of the interior on 
March 1 , 1918, complete with a series of watercolor renderings of the 
development that were masterpieces in themselves. 

Mann and Stern had a strong sense of what they felt was appropriate 
design for Bathhouse Row. They had designed the Fordyce Bathhouse 
and done some remodeling work for the Maurice by the time they received 
the commission to do a master architectural plan. They saw Central 
Avenue as the most important street in Hot Springs, with the best 
businesses and best bathhouses in the city. Noting the geographic 
limitations posed by the site, they recommended following the linear 
development. At the southwest corner of Bathhouse Row, where the 
painted brick superintendent's office humbly sat, they saw a large 
neoclassical building similar in scale and design to the Buckstaff 

Bathhouse but housing a new free bathhouse, a clinic, and reservation 

53 
offices. Walls with small gateways would connect the buildings at the 

south end of Bathhouse Row, creating visual continuity. To Mann and 

Stern the pavilion at the top of the Stevens balustrade was "useless," 

and they recommended its replacement with a massive Crystal Palace-type 

conservatory with five buildings and a central palm house dominating the 

landscape. The conservatory was to be the connecting link between a 

concert garden, which they noted was the most popular feature of 

European spas, and an upper garden. Appropriate statuary and 

fountains would be provided. They designed comfort stations for 

Bathhouse Row and the upper garden area and specified marble 

wainscoting and partitions and tile floors. They wanted to replace the 



91 



drinking fountains along the row with drinking pavilions. Their Utopian 

plan even included a "working home for the indigent who came to seek 

54 
the cure in Hot Springs as well as for the resident poor." 



The cost estimate that Mann and Stern submitted with their 
recommendations was $2,000,000. The plans, and particularly the 
handsome renderings that accompanied the narrative, were an immediate 
hit in Hot Springs. Superintendent Donald Libbey displayed the original 
plans for residents and visiting conventioneers at the Hotel Eastman and 
then at the Arlington. Despite the enthusiastically positive reactions to 

the plan, the $2,000,000 appropriation for construction of the grand 
scheme was not forthcoming. World War I escalated the costs of material 
and caused labor shortages. NPS Director Stephen T. Mather agreed 
with those who felt that the new Government Free Bathhouse and clinic 
should be elsewhere than Bathhouse Row. Nothing in Mann and Stern's 
magnificent plan was built except the two comfort stations on Bathhouse 
Row; the materials, however, were scaled down to less expensive ones. 



BATHHOUSE ROW 1920-1945 

The Hot Springs Reservation was set aside for public use as a park on 
June 16, 1880. In 1916 the law establishing the National Park Service 
placed the administration of the Hot Springs Reservation under the new 
agency. Congress in 1921 began a debate on whether or not to change 
the name of Hot Springs Reservation to Hot Springs National Park. 
Representative James Robert Mann of Illinois argued that the term national 
park meant a place of unparalleled natural beauty and that Hot Springs 
did not fall in that category. Representative Chester William Taylor of 
Arkansas countered by arguing that the present designation for the hot 
springs as a reservation was inappropriate. Taylor believed that most 
people thought a reservation was a place occupied by "uncivilized" 
Indians and this title did not reflect the true nature of the spa facilities 



available at Hot Springs. Congress passed the name change as a 
stipulation added to an appropriation bill. On March 4, 1921, Hot 

Springs Reservation became redesignated as Hot Springs National Park. 



92 



The change in management from supervision by the Department of the 
Interior to supervision by the National Park Service of that department 
actually was quite profound (fig. 23). The formal, urban development at 
Hot Springs Reservation was placed under an agency whose priorities 
were preserving for the most part natural and scenic values and which 
was committed to an organic development based on studying the "aesthetic 
value of park lands." In the reservation's earlier days, no underlying 
philosophy existed to guide the development of the area. Robert Stevens' 
contributions, for instance, were based on his Victorian sense of 
appropriateness and his Army background rather than on departmental 
philosophy. Hot Springs' placement under the National Park Service 
caused some dilemmas, yet staff members rose to the challenge of 
designing an urban park. Mather took a strong hand in the development 
of Bathhouse Row. He reviewed plans for new construction and oversaw 
and criticized the 1918 Mann and Stern plan for Bathhouse Row. He 
understood the unique aspect of Hot Springs—the area's historical use of 
the resource rather than its preservation. He passed his enthusiasm on 
to his staff. 

The new designation brought about additional promotion and increased 
visitation to the new park. In 1922 the Department of the Interior began 
an experiment in managing this unique park. By mutual agreement, the 
superintendent for Hot Springs National Park was detailed from the Public 
Health Service. This experiment continued until 1936 when Thomas J. 

Allen became the first superintendent selected from the National Park 

57 
Service. 

In 1923 another event changed the face of Bathhouse Row. The second 
Arlington Hotel burned to the ground (fig. 24). McClure, Stewart, and 
Mullgardt of St. Louis had designed the twin-towered structure in 1891. 
Built on the site of the first Arlington—which had been condemned and 
demolished --the second Arlington contributed a feeling of 
Spanish-inspired elegance to the north end of Bathhouse Row. After the 
hotel burned on April 5, 1923, and the hotel owner's reservation lease 

expired in 1932, the National Park Service turned the vacant lot into a 

59 
landscaped park. 



93 



The third Arlington Hotel, designed by Mann and Stern in 1925, occupied 
a new site directly northwest of the original location. Erected in a "Y" 
intersection at the corner of Central Avenue and Fountain Street (fig. 
25), the new Arlington dominated the central business district. The 
building's huge size, Spanish-Colonial Revival style, and placement at the 
terminus of the town's most important vista made the building a key Hot 
Springs landmark. 

The onset of the Great Depression in 1929 resulted in a dramatic increase 
in national unemployment and social upheaval, with the full impacts 
occurring in 1933 and 1934. The bathhouse owners found it increasingly 
difficult to make enough profit to justify remodeling and rehabilitation 
projects. Visitation to the park increased, but fewer people took the 
baths. One notable exception was the increased demand for use of the 
Government Free Bathhouse by people displaced by the depression. 
Meanwhile, the National Park Service used funds from various New Deal 

fin 
programs to develop recreational and natural aspects of the park. 

Other changes occurred in the 1930s. The Army and Navy facility on the 
mountain above Bathhouse Row needed expansion because of the large 
number of World War I veterans who could benefit from treatments offered 
at Hot Springs. The new veterans' hospital completed in 1933 dwarfed 
the buildings on Bathhouse Row but complemented the size of the Eastman 
Hotel directly south of it. This structure also had a few Spanish 
elements in its design (fig. 26). Now Bathhouse Row was tucked down in 
between the Arlington to the north, the Army and Navy Hospital on the 
east, and the Eastman Hotel to the south. 

The National Park Service itself had undergone quite an evolution by 
1930. The first official policy statement resulted in the formation of the 
Landscape Division in the San Francisco Field Office. The head of the 
office was a landscape architect named Thomas C. Vint who had attended 
the University of California. Vint had been brought into the Park 
Service by Daniel Hull, and he had considerable experience in working 
with architects of the caliber of Gilbert Stanley Underwood (designer of 



94 



Bryce Lodge and the Ahwahnee Hotel at Yosemite) and Herbert Maier 

fi1 
(designer of the rustic Yellowstone museums). 



Although Vint's forte was working in large natural areas, he understood 
the subtleties required for developing Hot Springs and assigned architect 
Charles Peterson to the task. On a trip to the park in April 1930, 
Peterson said that he agreed with Vint's earlier assessment that the park 
be developed along formal lines, but that the Mann and Stern plans were 
unworkable. Two of the sites that Mann and Stern had recommended for 
construction, for instance, were already occupied by other structures. 
Peterson disapproved of their overall design as "absolutely ridiculous" 
and felt that "buildings of this style [Beaux Arts classicism] are 
phenomena peculiar to a passing school of design and are seldom seen 
anywhere except on paper." What he wanted, he said, was $2,000, a 
good topographic map of the area, and the "unhurried consideration of a 

C.O 

good park planner." 

Vint granted Peterson his wish, and Peterson's involvement in Hot 

Springs deepened. A year later Vint prepared a memorandum for the 

director of the National Park Service summarizing his views on 
development at Hot Springs: 



The spring area as it now stands is an entirely artificial 
development and on account of the large use of the water it 
would be impractical to consider the restoration of the springs 
to approximately their natural condition as we would do 
according to the usual National Park practice. Special 
conditions . . . make it necessary for use to consider an 
artificial, rather than a natural theme for its 
development. . . . Both of these developments [Bathhouse Row 
and the Army and Navy Hospital] have rather monumental types 
of buildings, the architecture of which will dominate this 
particular area. It is logical therefore that we provide a formal 
development for this particular section of the park. . . . 
Another feature pointed out to Mr. [Arno] Cammerer [then 
Assistant NPS Director] was the possibility nf providing a wide 
promenade along the rear of Bathhouse Row. 



95 



Vint also pointed out that considerable study would have to be done 
regarding cleaning up the rear elevations of the bathhouses prior to 
building a promenade and removing the foundations of the old Arlington 
and improving that area. 

Director Horace Albright approved Vint's ideas. He wrote to Dr. George 
Collins, superintendent of Hot Springs National Park, that the Park 
Service intended to build the promenade and use the site of the Imperial 
as the walkway's south entrance. Albright recommended that Collins not 

renew the Imperial's 30-year lease, but instead offer a 10-year lease with 

64 
the option to cancel after five years. 

Another of Vint's projects was to work on getting funds for a unified 
collection and distribution system. The system had been proposed for 
years, but was always thwarted by the bathhouse owners who wanted to 
prevent mixing the waters so they could promote the special traits of 
their bathhouses' waters. Vint and Frank Kittredge, NPS chief engineer, 
worked out an estimate of $143,000, which Congress appropriated. 

The Landscape Division worked hard on some of these planning and 
development problems, which had plagued Hot Springs for years. 
Apparently its efforts were not enough to satisfy Superintendent Thomas 
Allen. He complained to the director, and the senior assistant director 
responded that Hot Springs was not being treated on an equal basis with 
other parks in terms of engineering and landscape architecture. Allen 
was warned that funding was so meager that they might not even be able 
to continue financing the planning and construction divisions, let alone 
have any large amounts of money for major construction. 

Peterson's work at Hot Springs continued. In 1933 he summarized the 
progress: The additional work on the Army and Navy Hospital was 
nearly completed, the Imperial was finally scheduled for demolition, and 
money for the promenade had been programmed. Now the biggest point 
of the general improvement program for Hot Springs that needed work 
was replacing the administration building. Peterson recommended that 



96 



a two story building done in appropriate style and material set 
back against the LaMar bathhouse and planned to fit into the 
design for the Promenade be constructed from Public Works 
funds. A rough estimate of $50,000 was made for this 
structure-.. The total may have to be modified when plans are 
available. 



Peterson wanted to design a building that fit the difficult site in a 
suitable way. He believed the building should retain the same setback as 
the bathhouses on the row but should appropriately finish off the corner. 
He wanted a solid structure with an architectural connection to the 
promenade. Peterson's first design for the two-story building featured a 
modern structure with a flat roof. His second design was a 
Spanish-Colonial Revival structure with an impressive baroque entrance, 
wrought-iron balconies, and a tiled hip roof. Superintendent Allen 
quickly rejected both designs, stating that they had no connection at all 

CO 

with the surrounding architecture. 

Allen continued opposing Peterson's designs, and he strongly voiced his 
particular dislike of the Spanish design. Finally Tom Vint, then chief of 
the Branch of Plans and Design, tried to silence Allen by reminding him 
that the use of a Spanish motif was the idea of the director of the 
National Park Service and that the design staff believed Peterson's 
building was a good one for the site. Vint tried explaining to Allen that 
the building served as a terminus for Bathhouse Row and at the same 

time was part of the architectural scheme for the entrance to the 

, 69 
promenade. 

Allen continued blasting Peterson's use of Spanish-Colonial design and 
virtually denied that such buildings existed in Hot Springs. In his eyes, 
the only ones interested in that type of design were NPS staff members 
and certain members of the Fine Arts Commission who had approval over 
the drawings. Peterson responded that the Arlington, the Army and 
Navy Hospital, the Quapaw, and the Fordyce all had strong Spanish 
character. Peterson also recalled the existence of a planning commission 
that made a concerted effort to have all major new buildings designed in a 
Spanish style. 



97 



In the end, Charles Peterson won the argument. Under protest, Tom 

Allen approved the drawings. He personally opened the sealed bids for 

71 
construction of the two-story building on March 2, 1935. The 

southwest corner of Bathhouse Row was then completed. Although the 

new administration building was small, the imposing entrance with its 

finely carved stonework commanded attention and created a visual tie 

between the Army and Navy Hospital to the east and the Arlington Hotel 

at the northern vista of Bathhouse Row (fig. 28). 

By 1936 travel to the area had grown, with many people enjoying the 
recently developed recreational facilities. As the danger of war in Europe 
increased, wealthy American spa habitues decided to remain in the United 
States. Some of these people chose to go to Hot Springs. The visitation 

to the bathhouses increased, and it seemed a new era of prosperity had 

72 
dawned for Bathhouse Row. 

Major town and Park Service planning ideas had now reached the stage of 

implementation. The town, for instance, removed the tracks for the 

73 
street railway in front of Bathhouse Row in 1938. Local newspapers 

began boasting about the $1.5 million the federal government would be 

spending at the park during the following two years. The two biggest 

projects the park planned to undertake were the construction of the 

promenade and the installation of a central water-cooling/disbursing 

74 
system. 

Those two projects started immediately. During 1938, a hydraulic 
engineer began studying how to cool the hot spring water while keeping 
it out of contact with the air so that any properties the water possessed 
would not be lost. The newspaper again heralded this improvement 
because the "unsightly cooling towers from the back of bathhouse Row 
could finally be removed." That same year, a small building of unknown 
use behind the Superior was demolished, and the Imperial Bathhouse was 
torn down to begin development of the Grand Promenade. 



98 



The bathhouses, too, underwent changes and improvements in the late 
1930s. The Maurice Bathhouse, ever on the forefront of providing 
greater amenities to its bathers, continued to operate the rooftop garden 
originally opened in 1915. Stucco enclosures were built around the 
Fordyce cooling tanks to improve their appearance. The Hale's interior 
was rebuilt during the early spring, and the exterior was scheduled for 

remodeling during the summer. Other unidentified improvements were 

75 
completed at the Lamar and Buckstaff. 

Bathhouse operations continued along smoothly, and the series of 
regulations governing their operations expanded. Bath hall temperatures 
were required to be between 95 and 100 degrees, pack rooms between 100 
and 105 degrees, cooling rooms between 80 and 88 degrees; if a second 
cooling room existed, it was to be 10 degrees cooler than the first. This 
type of warmth combined with high humidity, of course, created problems 
with the architecture — particularly the rusting of exposed metal. The 
bathhouse managers did have relatively high maintenance standards, 
which were enforced by the Department of the Interior. Buildings had to 
be kept clean, sanitary, and well maintained. Fire extinguishers were 
required. Minor exterior changes affecting the architectural appearance 
or safety of the structure, minor rearrangement of the interiors, and 

improvements on the grounds could be completed by informal agreement 

7fi 
with and approval by the superintendent. 

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and the 
subsequent entry of the United States into World War II brought further 
dramatic changes to Hot Springs National Park. Many doctors and 
bathhouse employees either voluntarily joined or were drafted into the 
military services. In addition, employment in nearby defense industries 
lured employees away from the bathhouses. A number of items used in 
the bathing procedures, such as the bath mitt and thermometer, became 
difficult to obtain. Also, laundry and other services became hard to 
obtain because of wartime rationing. 



99 



The military took over the enormous Eastman Hotel across the street from 
the Army and Navy Hospital in 1942 because the hospital, now a decade 
old, was not nearly large enough to hold the wounded and sick coming 
in. The military constructed a passageway over Reserve Avenue to 
connect the two facilities. In 1946, after the war, the Eastman was 
demolished when the federal government no longer needed it. 

Despite wartime problems, visitation and use of the bathhouses increased 
during the war years. In 1944 the Army began redeploying returning 

overseas soldiers; officials inspected hotels in 20 cities before selecting 

78 
Hot Springs as a redistribution center for returning soldiers. 

In August of 1944, under the command of Colonel John P. Wheeler, the 
Army took over most of the hotels in Hot Springs for the redistribution 
program. The first soldier arrived on September 1 of that year. The 
soldiers returning from overseas received a 21 -day furlough before 
reporting to the redistribution station. Those servicemen from the 
west-central states reported to Hot Springs. The soldiers spent 14 days 
updating their military records, receiving physical examinations, and 
obtaining physical and dental treatment. These activities left time for the 
soldiers to enjoy the baths at a reduced rate and other recreational 
activities. The Army planned to reassign 2,500 officers, enlisted men, 

army nurses, and WAACs a month to Hot Springs for processing out of 

^ 79 

the service. 

While in Hot Springs, the Army conducted various ceremonies on 
Arlington Lawn to present medals and mark patriotic occasions. Various 
entertainers and dignitaries visited the city to meet and entertain the 

GIs. The redistribution center officially closed down in December 1945 

80 
after processing more than 32,000 returning soldiers. 



100 



BATHHOUSE ROW AFTER WORLD WAR II 

The hotels reconverted to civilian use and opened in early 1946 to large 
crowds of visitors. In that year, people took 649,270 tub baths, which 
established a new record for the bathhouses. This proved to be the 
apogee of the bathing industry. Modern antibiotics developed during the 
war diminished the use of the thermal waters for medical purposes. Also, 
changes in American society prevented many people from taking the long, 
leisurely vacations that characterized 19th century spa life, and the 
automobile allowed Americans to visit more places on a single vacation. 

During the post-war years visitation to the park increased, but visitation 

81 
to the bathhouses declined after 1946. 

In March 1949 the National Park Service was finally able to let a contract 

82 
for constructing the central cooling system. The promenade, on the 

other hand, had to wait until 1956 for its finishing touches. A gravel 

path along the promenade axis was constructed during the 1930s, but lack 

of funding stopped further development. The promenade was finally 

completed in 1958, and the Noble Fountain was moved from its location in 

front of the visitor center to a new location at the entrance to the 

promenade. Previously, it had been moved about 36 feet from its original 

83 
location on the corner of Central and Reserve avenues. 

Yet the completion of the promenade came too late. Bathhouse Row's 
carefully planned architectural scheme had been completed, but society's 
needs had changed in the interim. Bathing reached a peak following 
World War II, but then began a slow, downward slide from which the 
industry never recovered. The bathhouses became anachronisms-- 
post-Victorian buildings which housed post-Victorian functions. 

Americans began participating more in various recreational activities and 
moved away from the social promenading of the spas. Spas that survived 
this period emphasized a total program of diet, exercise, and bathing. 
Exercise and diet were not adequately addressed by the bathhouse 
operators in Hot Springs. Bathing practices in Hot Springs became 



101 



identified with an older generation, and few young people took the full 
course of 21 baths. Younger people took single baths, but showed little 

interest in taking a series of baths. By 1979 only 96,000 baths were 

84 
given on Bathhouse Row. 

The economics of this labor-intensive industry began to force the 
bathhouses to close down. The Fordyce Bathhouse closed in 1962, and 
the Maurice Bathhouse closed in 1974. Then in an 11-year time span- 
starting in 1974--the Superior, Hale, Ozark, Quapaw, and Lamar shut 
their doors. In 1986, only the Buckstaff remained open on Bathhouse 
Row. 



102 



Notes for Chapter 4 



1. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
p. 47; and Samuel Eliot Morison, The Oxford History of the American 
People (New York: Oxford University Press, 1965), pp. 607-608. 

2. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
p. 47; and Brown, The American Spa , p. 15. 

3. Ibid.; Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
pp. 47-48; and Work Projects Administration, Arkansas , p. 159. 

4. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
pp. 46-49. 

5. Cron, "The Hot Springs of the Ouachita," p. 164. 

6. Brown, The American Spa , p. 22; Cron, "The Hot Springs of the 
Ouachita," pp. 134-135; and Mary D. Hudgins, "Days of the 'Diamond 
Jo 1 ," Arkansas Gazette , 29 July 1934, Magazine Section, pp. 1, 13. 

7. A further discussion of the complex issue of land claims can be 
found in Scully Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park ; 
Cron, "The Hot Springs of the Ouachita," and Benson and Libbey, 
"History of Hot Springs National Park." Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas 
and Hot Springs National Park ; pp. 84-85; and Cron, "The Hot Springs 
of the Ouachita," pp. 113-136. 

8. Clark died in 1877 before completion of the commission's work. Hot 
Springs Reservation Commission, Report of the Commission Appointed 
under the Provisions of Act of Congress of March 3, 1877 , Regarding the 
Hot Springs Reservation j_n the State of Arkansas (Washington, D.C.: 
GPO, 1878), pp. 3-4, 7. 

9. Hot Springs Reservation Commission, Report of the Commission 1878 , 
p. 5. 

10. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park ; 
pp. 93-94; Norsworthy, "Hot Springs, Arkansas," pp. 34-35; Marcellus 
L. Stearns and John Coburn to Carl Schurz, 16 July 1877, Entry 1, 
Box 3, Record Group 79, Records of the National Park Service, National 
Archives (hereafter referred to as RG 79, NA). 

11. Additional information on the various activities of federal management 
of Hot Springs will be found in later sections of this report. Scully, Hot 
Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , p. 109; Benjamin F. 
Kelley, Report of the Superintendent of the " Hot Springs Reservation ," in 
the State of Arkansas , for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1878 
(Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1878), pp. 1-2; and Kelley to Schurz, 24 
January 1879, Entry 1, Box 3, RG 79, NA. 



103 



12. A. Van Cleef, The Hot Springs of Arkansas , 1878 (Golden, 
Colorado: Outbooks Reprint, 1981), pp. 7-8. 

13. Hot Springs Reservation Commission, Report of the Commission 1877 , 
p. 7. 

14. A more in-depth discussion of the 1878 fire can be found later in 
this report. "The Hot Springs Dispute Settled," The New York Times , 4 
January 1880, p. 6. 

15. Van Cleef, The Hot Springs of Arkansas , pp. 3-5, 8-10. 

16. Ibid., p. 12. 

17. Ibid., pp. 8, 12. 

18. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
pp. 149-154. 

19. Ibid., p. 109. 

20. "Arkansaw's Hot Springs," The New York Times , 13 January 1884, 
p. 4. 

21. For additional data, see Diane Rhodes, Historic Grounds and 
Structures : An Interim Report on Bathhouse Row , Hot Springs National 
Park , Arkansas (Denver, Colorado: U.S. Department of the Interior, 
1985) and the architectural discussion in this report. Diane Rhodes, 
Historic Grounds and Structures : An Interim Report on Bathhouse Row , 
Hot Springs National Park , Arkansas (Denver, Colorado: U.S. 
Department of the Interior, 1985), pp. 16-23, 54-56. 

22. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
p. 114. 

23. Hempstead, A Pictorial History of Arkansas , p. 1,156. 

24. Thomas H. Musick, Investigation of Hot Springs Affairs : Report to 
the Secretary of the Interior (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1890), 
pp. 25-26. 

25. Hot Springs , Arkansas : Its Hotels , Baths , Resorts and Beautiful 
Scenery I Hustrated (St. Louis: Press of the Woodward and Tierman 
Printing Company, 1892), p. 32. 

26. The authors uncovered no evidence of a planning commission or 
other work group promoting Spanish architecture. 

27. Ye Hot Springs , Ark . , Picture Book (St. Louis: Press of the 
Woodward and Tierman Printing Company, 1894), pp. 2-3. 



104 



28. Ibid., pp. 1-5. 

29. "Preliminary Edition of Manual for Bathhouse Managers," no date, 
from file entitled "Administrative History" in the Restoration Special 
Collections of Hot Springs National Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas. Quoted 
on page 6 and 26 Statute 842 and Section 4 of that statute of March 3, 
1891. 

30. William J. Little, Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs 
Reservation to the Secretary of the Interior for the Fiscal Year Ended 
June 30, 1896 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1896), p. 10. 

31. Ibid., pp. 9-13. 

32. William J. Little, Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs 
Reservation , June 30, 1897 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1897), p. 16. 

33. Brown, The American Spa , pp. 36-37. 

34. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
p. 171. 

35. Ibid., p. 170. 

36. Cron, "The Hot Springs of the Ouachita," p. 238. 

37. Ibid. 

38. Digest of City Ordinances : City of Hot Springs , April 1, 1907, n.p. 

39. Charles Rix to the Secretary of the Interior, September 18, 1909, 
Entry 6, Box 339, RG 79, NA. 

40. "Report of the Medical Director, August 3, 1912" in Report on the 
Hot Springs Reservations , Hot Springs , Arkansas (Washington, D.C.: 
GPO, 1912), p. 241. 

41. William Curtis to Secretary of the Interior, January 14, 1914, 
Entry 6, Box 341, RG 79, NA. 

42. Howard Greenley, "Report on the Bathing Establishments of Europe 
and the Incorporation of Their Systems of Operation in a Suggested 
Scheme for the Improvement of the Present Bathing Facilities at Hot 
Springs Government Reservation, Arkansas, U.S.A." pp. 1-13, Entry 1, 
Box 30, RG 79, NA. 

43. Ibid., pp. 13-15. 

44. Ibid., pp. 6-7. 

45. "The Fordyce Bath House at Arkansas Hot Springs," (n.p.: n.p., 
ca. 1915), no pagination. 



105 



46. The Hot Springs National Park Special Collections has a pamphlet 
entitled "Bath: Britain's Historic Spa: Official Handbook" from the 
collection of William T.S. Curtis. 

47. William Parks to Secretary of the Interior, September 29, 1915, 
Entry 6, Box 341, RG 79, NA. 

48. William Marion Reedy, The Hot Springs of Arkansas : The Nation's 
Fashionable Playground ; Nature's Greatest Sanitarium (n.p.: The 
Passenger Traffic Department, Missouri Pacific-Iron Mountain, 1914), 
p. 6. 

49. Ibid., pp. 26-27. 

50. Cron, "The Hot Springs of the Ouachita," pp. 220-264. 

51. "General Description of the Remodeling and Extension of the Imperial 
Bathhouse," May 1911, Entry 6, Box 339, RG 79, NA. 

52. Sorrells and Latta to Stephen T. Mather, no date, ca. 1916, 
Entry 6, Box 341, RG 79, NA. 

53. Mann and Stern Architects, Recommendations for Improving U.S . 
Reservation , Hot Springs , Arkansas (Little Rock, Arkansas: Mann and 
Stern, Architects, March 1, 1918), pp. 1-6. 

54. Ibid., pp. 6-15. 

55. Libbey to director of the National Park Service, May 9, 1918, on file 
in D-22, Hot Springs National Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas. 

56. Norsworthy, pp. 42-43. 

57. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
pp. 110-111. 

58. Louis Mullgardt appeared in the San Francisco Bay area shortly after 
the construction of the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs. He remained 
there for the rest of his productive career and designed a number of 
major commercial and residential structures. He is considered a 
"California" architect because so much of his work was built there, 
including the Court of the Ages at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915 
and the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in 1916. See David Gebhard, et 
al., A Guide to the Architecture i_n San Francisco & Northern California 
(Santa Barbara, California: Peregrine Smith, 1973). 

59. 46 Stat. 1109, February 14, 1931. 

60. Rhodes, Historic Grounds and Structures , pp. 138-129. 

61. William Tweed, Laura E. Soulliere, and Henry G. Law, National Park 
Service Rustic Architecture : 1916-1942 (San Francisco: National Park 
Service, 1977), pp. 48-51. 



106 



62. Peterson to Vint, April 1930, Entry 6, Box 322, RG 79, NA. 

63. Vint to Director of the National Park Service, May 13, 1931, 
Entry 6, Box 322, RG 79, NA. 

64. Albright to Collins, October 3, 1931, Entry 6, Box 339, RG 79, NA. 

65. J.B. Hamilton, "Report on Construction of Hot Water Collecting and 
Distributing System, Hot Springs National Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas," 
no date, but enclosed there is a map dated February, 1932, Entry 6, 
Box 333, RG 79, NA (hereafter cited as Hamilton, "Report on 
Construction" RG 79, NA). 

66. Arthur E. Demaray to Allen, December 21, 1932, file D-18, Hot 
Springs National Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas. 

67. Charles E. Peterson, memo on Hot Springs National Park Planning 
Problems, July 28, 1933, file D-18, Hot Springs National Park. 

68. Peterson to Allen, May 22, 1934, file D-34, Hot Springs National 
Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas, drawings of Hot Springs Administrative 
Building dated June 12, 1934, on file at the National Park Service, 
Denver Service Center, Denver, Colorado; and Allen to Peterson, 
June 29, 1934, file D-34, Hot Springs National Park, Hot Springs, 
Arkansas. 

69. Vint to Allen, August 7, 1934, file D-34, Hot Springs, Arkansas, 
and other corresnce in file D-34, Hot Springs National Park, Hot Springs, 
Arkansas. 

70. Allen to Peterson, September 11, 1934, file D-34, Hot Springs 
National Park; Hot Springs, Arkansas; and Peterson to Allen, 
September 14, 1934, file D-34, Hot Springs National Park, Hot Springs, 
Arkansas. 

71. Allen to Director, January 25, 1935, file D-34, Hot Springs National 
Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas; and Memo from Allen, March 2, 1935, file 
D-34, Hot Springs National Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas. 

72. Rhodes, Historic Grounds and Structures , p. 130. 

73. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
p. 261. 

74. "U.S. to Spend $1,500,000 on National Park in Next Two Years," 
uncataloged newspaper clipped from the Sentinel-Record , February, 1937 
(no further date or page information), Scrapbook in Special Collections at 
Hot Springs National Park Library, Hot Springs, Arkansas. 

75. "Many National Park Improvements were Begun During . . . (rest of 
title not attached to clipping), Sentinel-Record , February, 1938, p. 8, on 
file in uncataloged newspaper clippings, Hot Springs National Park 
Library, Hot Springs, Arkansas. 



107 



76. Manual for Bathhouse Managers , part III Operations, chapter 22, 
p. 1, in Administrative History Notebook, Special Collections, Hot Springs 
National Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas. 

77. Unidentified newspaper clippings, Hot Springs National Park, 
1940-1944, Background Data File, Rhodes Collection, Box 4. 

78. "Hot Springs One of Five Cities Selected for Army Program After 
Inspection of Hotels in 30 States," Hot Springs National Park Newspaper 
Clippings 1936 to 1945 Scrapbook in Special Collections, Hot Springs 
National Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas. 

79. News release from Hot Springs National Park for September 1, 1944, 
K34 News Media Publicity File 1938-1956, Hot Springs National Park, Hot 
Springs, Arkansas. 

80. Unidentified newspaper clippings, Hot Springs National Park, 
Newspaper Clippings, 1936 to 1945 Scrapbook in Special Collections, Hot 
Springs National Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas. 

81. Rhodes, Historic Grounds and Structures , p. 130. 

82. Tom Boles to director of National Park Service, May 27, 1949, 
memorandum, in Hot Springs National Park 1940-1949 Background Data 
File, Rhodes Collection, Box 4. 

83. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
p. 133. 

84. Randy Ellis, "Problems for Bathhouses Matter of Image: There's the 
Rub," Arkansas Gazette, (Little Rock), 25 February 1980, sec. B. p. 1. 



108 



CHAPTER 5: THE HOT SPRINGS SPA INDUSTRY 
AND BATHHOUSE ROW 



The spa industry flourished in Hot Springs from the 19th century until 
the mid-20th century and then declined. The reasons for this rise and 
decline are many and complex. By examining individual components of 
the spa industry, a clearer picture emerges of the reasons behind this 
decline. The next two chapters will examine in depth the various 
components of the spa industry in Hot Springs. 



DEVELOPMENT OF THE THERMAL WATER DISTRIBUTION 
SYSTEM AND CREEK ARCH 

Early Thermal Water Distribution Systems of Pools and Troughs 

The first thermal water users chose to bathe in natural pools in Hot 

Springs Creek. These pools provided a place where the subterranean hot 

water and cooler mountain water mingled to provide suitable bathing 

temperatures. By the 1830s bathhouse operators either placed their 

buildings over a thermal spring or diverted water from the springs 

through a series of wooden flumes to their buildings. They constructed 

flumes for hot and cold water. The cold water helped lower the 

1 
temperature of the thermal water to a suitable bathing temperature. 

In his report published in 1860 geologist David Dale Owens described the 
thermal distribution system in the following manner: 



Here, at the Hot Springs of Arkansas, there is a most abundant 
supply of water at scalding temperature; several of the springs 
ranging at the fountain-head as high as 148° of Fahrenheit's 
thermometer, the waters of which, after being conducted in 
open troughs down the hillside to the reservoirs above the 
bathhouses, and standing some time, are just as hot as the skin 
can bear, and the waste water conducted under the adjoining 
vapor bathhouses, send up a steam, through the latticed floor, 
of a temperature so hot that few can endure it. 



109 



Along with his report Owens had sketched the thermal system at Hot 

Springs. At the northern end of his map, near the present-day 

Arlington Lawn, the pavilion stood over a spring. South of this stood 

the Rector and Hale Bathhouse, and next was the Rector-Hale-Clayton 

Bathhouse. These bathhouses received water from a northern group of 

springs. The Rector-Hale-Clayton Bathhouse along with the Clayton 

Bathhouse, kitchen, and a second Clayton Bathhouse obtained water from 

a middle group of springs. On the map's southern portion, the Warren 

Bathhouse and Old Hale Bathhouse obtained water from springs that 

3 
surrounded them. 



Development of the Thermal Water Distribution Systems in the Late 19th 
and Early 20th Centuries 

By 1875, aboveground pipes carried spring water to reservoirs and 

bathhouses. Some of these pipes carried the water more than 350 yards 

to the bathhouses. In 1877 the Hot Springs Commission began to plan for 

the future development of the thermal water system. The next year the 

government began supplying water to the Palace and Rockafellow's 

bathhouses. In the case of the Rockafellow Bathhouse, Superintendent 

Benjamin Kelley allowed the operator to enclose the spring and lay pipes 

4 
to the bathhouse. 

In 1879 Superintendent Kelley authorized the use of a gravity thermal 
water system for the Arlington Hotel and Hale Bathhouse. The following 
year Kelley granted permission for a water distribution system to the 
Ozark and Rammelsberg bathhouses. Superintendent Kelley, on March 23, 
1880, wrote to Secretary of the Interior Carl Schurz that the increased 
number of bathers at Hot Springs depleted the existing reservoirs to an 
alarmingly low level between the bathing hours of 9:00 a.m. and 
1:00 p.m. He recommended that the government construct two new 
covered reservoirs to hold the large amount of hot water that flowed into 
Hot Spring Creek during the evening and nighttime hours. Kelley 
requested that the two reservoirs be 10 by 30 feet, with the upper of the 



110 



two reservoirs being 3 feet deep and the lower one being 6 feet deep. 

Superintendent Kelley selected a site between the Big Iron and Old Hale 

5 
bathhouses for one of the reservoirs. 



George French, a civil engineer, recommended to Superintendent Kelley 
that the new reservoir be 5 feet deep and measure 40 by 20 feet. He 
wanted the reservoir to be brick and covered by an arch with glass slabs 
for inside lining. Kelley accepted these suggestions, and late in 1880 the 
first of the two proposed reservoirs was completed near the Big Iron 
Springs. The new reservoir primarily used the water from the Big Iron 
Springs and held an estimated 30,000 gallons. This brick and 
cement-covered reservoir supplied the needs of six bathhouses. The 
water temperature inside the reservoir stood at a constant 157°. This 
new reservoir cost $3,034.86. 

The next step in improvement of the overall water distribution system on 
the reservation came as work on the cold water system. The citizens of 
Hot Springs requested that Kelley permit them to construct a reservoir 
for cold water storage and lay pipes from near Gulpha Creek to the town 
across the Hot Springs Reservation. Also, the bathhouse operators 
planned to use the cold water in a ratio of two to one to bring down the 
thermal water temperatures for bathing. A cold water pipe was to be 
constructed along Fountain Street then turn at Hot Springs Creek to the 
bathhouses. Superintendent Kelley granted permission for this work to 
occur on reservation land, and work on the city's cold water system 
continued for the next several years. 

In 1881 Superintendent Kelley set about constructing a second reservoir 
near Egg Springs above the Arlington Hotel (now the Arlington Lawn). 
This reservoir measured 15 by 30 by 5 feet deep. With a growing demand 
for hot water by existing and newly constructed bathhouses, both 
government reservoirs soon became inadequate. The major springs were 
also covered during the late 1870s and early 1880s to protect them from 
pollution. Bathhouse owners and reservation staff carried out these 

o 

projects starting around 1877. 



111 



Captain Thomas H. Handbury of the Corps of Engineers arrived in Hot 

Springs in 1882 to inspect the reservation and make recommendations on 

improvements. He found the existing collection and distribution system 

for the thermal waters primitive and inefficient. Handbury, however, did 

not make any proposals until the precise location and needs of the Army 

9 
and Navy Hospital could be ascertained. 

After 1883 bathhouses without their own springs were furnished hot water 
from the central pumping station or government reservoir (Superior). 

Plans for the Army and Navy Hospital and expanding the free bathing 

10 
facilities required even greater amounts of available thermal water. 

In 1884 Hot Springs Superintendent Samuel Hamblen developed a proposal 
for improving the collection and distribution of the hot water. He 
suggested that all the thermal water be channeled to one reservoir at the 
lowest level of the reservation. This water would be pumped to another 
reservoir on the mountainside and distributed to the various bathhouses 
by gravity. Hamblen estimated the lower reservoir should hold 250,000 
gallons and the upper reservoir should contain 5,000,000 gallons. He 
estimated the cost of the project at $31,016, not including the engine 
house and boilers. Superintendent Hamblen sent diagrams of the 
proposed water distribution machinery to the Department of the Interior 
to bolster his arguments. In 1885 Hamblen again argued the economic 

merits of his proposal and suggested that the individual bathhouses pay a 

11 
portion of the cost for his proposed water distribution system. 

Before action was taken on this proposal, a new superintendent, Charles 
Field, took over the reservation. He laid a 12-inch cast-iron water main 
alongside the creek arch. Three- and 4-inch pipes connected this main 
to some of the lower springs. The main collected 300,000 gallons of water 

a day, which was discharged back into Hot Springs Creek because of the 

12 
lack of adequate storage facilities. 

On October 2, 1888, Congress appropriated $31,000 for developing an 
economical collection and distribution system for hot water at Hot Springs 



112 



Reservation. The appropriation authorized funding for planning and 
contracting work for collecting, impounding, and pumping the hot water. 
In December 1888, Superintendent Field requested that the secretary of 
war temporarily detail Captain Thomas W. Symons to Hot Springs to 
prepare a plan and specifications for new reservoirs. Secretary of War 
William C. Endicott refused permission. On March 1, 1889, Secretary of 
the Interior William F. Vilas requested Secretary of the Navy Benjamin F. 
Tracy to detail Post Assistant Engineer George W. Baird to the Hot 
Springs Reservation. Tracy granted permission for the reassignment in 
April 1889. 13 

Secretary of the Interior Vilas instructed Baird to make an examination of 
the existing water collection and distribution system at Hot Springs and 
formulate a plan for improving the system. The detailed plans and 
specifications for work on the reservation were to be readily 
understandable by any contractor. On August 3, 1889, Baird submitted 
his report, which envisioned all spring water channeled into one 
reservoir. The report concluded that the sinking of Egg Springs would 
soon force the abandonment of the reservoir there. Baird estimated that 
Field's 12-inch main carried approximately 58 percent of the spring flow. 
He recommended the construction of pipelines from the northern and 
middle groups of springs on the mountainside that would empty into 
Field's main water pipe on the south side of the Independent Bathhouse. 
Water in the main water pipe would drain into a reservoir to be 
constructed at the corner of Central and Reserve avenues. Baird 
designed the reservoir to hold 15 hours of water flow from the springs. 
He planned to locate the 264,000-gallon reservoir away from the sewer. 
The reservoir would be constructed with brick walls, faced with portland 
cement; a check valve in the overflow pipe and a pump house would be 
constructed next to the reservoir to distribute the water. Baird's first 
plans called for the distribution system to extend beyond the reservation 
boundaries. The secretary of the interior deemed this inappropriate, and 

Baird modified the plans to keep the distribution pipes within the 

14 
reservation boundaries. This time the secretary approved. 



113 



The Department of the Interior advertised for proposals on the project 
and opened bids on April 30, 1890. The Sheehan and Dunn Company 
received the contract for the excavation, masonry, and other 
miscellaneous work. The Blake Manufacturing Company obtained the 
contract for supplying the engines and boilers for the pump house on 

September 9 of that year. Navy Chief Engineer A.S. Greene became the 

15 
construction supervisor for the project. 

Opposition to the proposed work soon formed among the bathhouse 
owners. Henry M. Rector, part owner of the Rector Bathhouse and 
Grand Central Hotel, wrote Secretary of the Interior John W. Noble 
objecting to the work. Rector opposed any change to the existing 
gravity distribution system, arguing that piping the water from the 
springs to the reservoir and then pumping it to the individual bathhouses 
would diminish its medicinal qualities. Rector believed that the pumping 
scheme would result in the bathhouse owners being charged for the 
maintenance and repair of the pumps. He also argued that a shut down 
at the pump house would incapacitate all bathhouse operations, whereas 
now no single accident could totally disrupt all bathing activities. 

Supporters of the project, including John Laughran, mayor of Hot 

1 fi 
Springs, wrote to Noble. 

Despite the opposition by the bathhouse owners and their adherents, 
work on the storage reservoir and water distribution system continued 
into 1891. Chief Engineer Greene suggested that the boilers in the pump 
house be modified so that cold and hot water could be pumped to locations 
within the reservation. Superintendent Frank Thompson took no action 
on this request. Meanwhile, Congress received petitions from bathers at 
Hot Springs requesting that work on the project cease. On March 3, 
1891, Congress backed the the secretary of the interior, but he chose not 

to pump water from the springs to the bathhouses where it was feasible 

17 
to achieve the same result by means of gravity flow from the springs. 

Completion of the construction work on the water collection and 
distribution system, along with the pump house, occurred on June 8, 



114 



1891. Superintendent Thompson received, however, instructions from 
Washington to operate only the reservoir and not the pumping equipment. 
The pumps remained inactive and required annual servicing to prevent 
deterioration. In 1897 Superintendent Martin A. Eisele requested 
permission from the secretary of the interior to dismantle the pumping 
machinery, sell it, and renovate the pump house into office space. He 
received permission, dismantled the pumping equipment, and placed it in 

the south portion of the pump house. Full renovation of the pump house 

1 8 
into office space and selling the machinery occurred in 1905. 

The bathhouse operators' victory in preventing the operations of the 
pumping station contributed to a major problem for the Hot Springs 
Reservation superintendent. Many of the individual piping systems 
between the springs, the cooling towers, and the bathhouses were poorly 
maintained, and their leaking created problems in keeping up the 
appearance of the reservation. The elimination of the various piping 

systems and cooling towers became a continuing project for reservation 

19 
officials. 

In his 1891 report Superintendent Thompson complained: "There is not a 
suitable and respectable hot water drinking fountain on the permanent 
reservation. There ought to be 6 or 8 handsome modern fountains put up 

in Bath House Park for public use. They could be fed from the hot 

20 
water springs on the mountain side." 

The superintendent received permission to erect four fountains, and 
Captain Robert R. Stevens supervised their design and construction. Six 
hot water fountains eventually were erected as part of this project. 
These first fountains were the triangular or Block Fountain, Hoke Smith 
Fountain, John W. Noble Fountain, a shell fountain at the foot of the 

grand stairway, and two exedra fountains by the main reservation 

21 
entrance. Most of these fountains were in operation in 1897. 

In 1899 Superintendent William J. Little wrote to the secretary of the 
interior asking permission to renovate the covering for the springs at the 



115 



Big Iron Bathhouse site. He also wanted to enlarge a small reservoir 
there to capture additional hot water. He estimated the project at 
$1,393.50. Little received permission for these projects on July 22, and 
work began on August 7 to improve spring protection and enlarge the 
reservoir. The new reservoir held 26,109 gallons of hot water, with the 

overflow directed down the main pipeline to the reservoir by the pump 

22 
house. Work was completed at the end of October and cost $1,497.50. 

Superintendent Eisele, using the information gathered by geologist Walter 
Harvey Weed, in 1902 began erecting stone monuments over the various 
springs. He also set about locating and mapping the active water lines in 
the reservation. The map completed under his direction shows one 
reservoir on the mountainside above the Arlington Hotel (now Arlington 
Lawn), the large reservoir behind the pump house (now park 
headquarters), and two tanks and a reservoir behind the Superior 
Bathhouse. The Lamar, Rammelsberg, Ozark, Magnesia, Horseshoe, 
Palace, Maurice, Hale, and Government Free bathhouses each had one 
tank behind or to one side of their bathing facilities. The Arlington 
Bathhouse had two tanks and the Imperial Bathhouse had three tanks 
behind them. 

Superintendent Eisele believed that these water storage facilities would 
soon prove inadequate to meet increasing demands. He recommended 

construction of a new reservoir either on the northern end of the 

23 
reservation or on Hot Springs Mountain. The secretary of the interior 

instructed superintendent Eisele to provide him with specific suggestions 

and recommendations for increasing the hot water storage at Hot 

24 
Springs. Superintendent Eisele described his proposal as follows: 



Our plan in brief is to build another reservoir along-side of the 
present one constructed in 1899 [at Big Iron Springs] by tying 
on an exterior wall at ends and side and using the present 
exterior wall of this reservoir as a wall upon which we will lay 
our girders and spring small arches for the coverings of the 
addition. The floor level will be the same as the one now in 
use except for 20 feet at the north end will be 10 feet deep 
instead of 5 feet for the balance. A partition will be extended 
across at this 20 foot line virtually making a separate 
compartment of that end. We do this in order to utilize the 80 



116 



feet at 5 foot depth for the flow of the Big Iron Spring which 
at its elevation will fill this reservoir to this depth, and when 
full will overflow through a connecting pipe with reservoir 
number 2 on Superior Site which is approximately 60 feet from 
it and on the same level. These two reservoirs will be on the 
level required to flow water by gravity to bath houses on Bath 
House Row. The three springs at the north end are at a lower 
level than the Big Iron and therefore, our compartment at their 
end of the reservoir must be deeper in order to obtain the full 
amount of water these springs supply, and this supply can be 
reserved for pumping when necessary. This will give us a 
storage capacity of 91,000 gallons as against 43,000 at present. 
Openings will be made in the center wall which will allow both 
reservoirs to fill at the same time. This will apparently 
constitute ?c two reservoirs when in reality it will in effect be 
only one. 



In addition to this work, Eisele recommended lengthening and replastering 
the old reservoir on the mountainside. He intended to use any remaining 
funds to enlarge a deep storage cistern near the Big Iron Springs. 



The work on the Big Iron Springs surface and deep water storage neared 
completion by late 1903. Superintendent Eisele wrote the secretary of the 
interior early in 1904 that he wished to modify his earlier proposal for the 
water storage. He now wanted to increase the capacity of the deep 
storage reservoir at Big Iron Springs and construct two small reservoirs, 
one behind the free bathhouse and one between the Palace and Horseshoe 
bathhouses. He estimated the cost of this work at nearly $6,000. The 

secretary of the interior approved these changes and the work was 

27 
completed in May 1904. 

The next work occurred in 1908 when Superintendent W. Scott Smith had 
two cooling tanks for thermal water constructed on the reservation. 
These two tanks supplied all the reservation cold water needs for "official 
residence and grounds, the office building, the free bath house, the 

government barns, and for watering the lawns, shrubbery, and flower 

28 
beds." This action freed the reservation from depending on 

city-supplied cold water. All reservation water came from the hot 

springs. 



117 



During the next several years only minor repairs occurred on the existing 
water distribution system. In 1914, during construction of the Fordyce 
Bathhouse, a concrete reservoir was built under the bathhouse's 

basement. This reservoir connected with the water main leading to the 

29 
large corner reservoir by the pump house. 

Minor repairs and rehabilitation of the water distribution system were 
done during the 1920s. Various superintendents requested the building 
of a new central reservoir to accommodate the growing demand for thermal 
water by the bathhouses. They argued that during peak bathing periods 
some of the bathhouses ran out of water. In March 1929 several 
bathhouses found themselves without water for an hour or two in the 
afternoon. That spring NPS Engineer Frank A. Kittredge and Chief 
Landscape Architect Thomas C. Vint traveled to Hot Springs to gather 
information for estimating the cost of a new hot water collection and 

distribution system. They estimated $143,550, and Congress appropriated 

30 
this amount on May 14, 1930. 

Design plans for the new system called for cleaning and rehabilitating all 
spring covers, constructing two new reservoirs, renovating the existing 
reservoirs, and constructing a new 12-inch main and pumping system. 
Engineers located the larger reservoir (400,000 gallons) in a gully on the 
mountainside above the Superior Bathhouse. They built the second 
reservoir (100,000 gallons) higher up on the mountain. A centrifugal 
pump system, to move the hot water from the reservoirs to the 
bathhouses, was to be installed along a new main in the creek arch. The 
National Park Service completed design plans on November 1, 1930. 
Wickes Engineering and Construction Company of Des Moines, Iowa, 

proved the successful bidder on the project; they began work on January 

31 
1, 1931, and completed it in November of 1931. 

Another use of water was for display springs. Planning began in 1931 
for a display spring. In 1932 the park staff combined two springs to 
create a display spring behind the Maurice Bathhouse next to the 
stairway of the main entrance. The park placed a fountain in front of 



118 



the administrative building in 1936. Sometime during this period the two 
exedra fountains were removed and a quartz fountain with large crystals 
in sand around a bronze core was erected in front of the Maurice 
Bathhouse. By 1939 the Stevens Fountain may have been removed or 
rendered useless because of the work on the promenade. A "dolphin and 
fish" fountain occupied a circular space at the north end of the 
promenade. The "fish" fountain, probably two dolphins playing, was 

pewter. The pewter was soft and difficult to repair. In 1969 it was 

32 
removed by park maintenance crews. 

In 1936 the park staff began to plan for the removal of all cooling tanks 
behind the bathhouses. In 1938 Superintendent Donald S. Libbey argued 
that the existing cooling tanks were unsanitary and aesthetically 
unpleasing and recommended that a central water cooling system replace 
them. World War II delayed action on this project until 1946. The 
National Park Service contracted with the Edward B. Mooney Construction 
Company to drill a test well in Whittington Park to determine if a cold 
water source existed for the development of a water cooling system. The 

testing proved the cooling system development feasible, and in the next 

33 
several years NPS engineers designed a suitable cooling system. 

On March 11, 1949, the William Peterson Company began construction on a 
100,000-gallon hot water reservoir and central cooling system. Plans 
called for the new reservoir to be next to the 400,000-gallon reservoir on 
the west slope of Hot Springs Mountain. The water cooling system 
worked by circulating the thermal water from the new reservoir through 
subterranean pipes in the Arlington Lawn where pipes filled with cold 
spring water and Hot Springs Creek water coiled around the hot water 
pipes. The heat exchange from this operation cooled the thermal water to 
90 degrees, and the water then flowed to the 400,000-gallon reservoir and 
from there to the bathhouses. At the bathhouses, hot thermal waters and 

cooled water mixed to create baths of 100 degrees. The total cost of the 

34 
project approached $140,000, with completion in early 1950. 



119 



During the next several years, park officials persuaded bathhouse owners 
to remove the obsolete cooling towers from behind their establishments. 
In 1962 construction began on an air-cooled heat exchange plant to 
increase the available cooled thermal water for the bathhouses; this work 
ended on December 17. Huge fans cooled the hot thermal water in pipes, 
and a new 100,000-gallon reservoir south of the old 400,000-gallon 
reservoir added to the park's water storage capacity. The air cooling 
system as a supplement to the water cooling system failed to adequately 
cool the hot water on the hottest days, especially after a reservoir 
nearby was demolished in order to renovate the thermal water collection 
system in 1975. The reservoir served to dissipate heat prior to entering 
the heat exchanger, its incidental role not understood at the time. This 
situation was alleviated when bathhouses conserved water for economic 
reasons and then discontinued all use of water when they gradually went 
out of business. In 1984 planning began on rehabilitating the thermal 

water distribution system. The installation of new distribution lines has 

35 
been recently completed. 

Other changes that occurred during this period include the installation, 
abandonment, or relocation of several fountains. In the early 1950s the 
park staff opened a new fountain near the administration building for 
people wishing to carry away bottles of the water. The staff relocated 
the Noble Fountain to the south end of the promenade in 1957 and 
removed the quartz fountain by the Maurice Bathhouse in the early 1980s. 
In 1983 a naturalistic cascade was constructed at the north end of the 

promenade. Here, hot water cascades gently over a tufa bluff down into 

36 
a trough by Arlington Lawn. 



Development of Creek Arch 

Early travelers found Hot Springs Creek a place for bathing and fishing. 
The development of Bathhouse Row and of the surrounding community 
changed the character of this mountain stream. By the 1870s the creek 
was an open sewer for the bathhouses. Pigs wallowed in the shallows, 



120 



37 
and only a few footbridges provided access across the stream. A 

visitor to the hot springs in early 1878 commented: "The water of Hot 

Springs Creek, which derives much of its volume from the overflow of the 

springs, and is the common sewer of the town, carrying off refuse of all 

38 
kinds, are quite hot, and, like those of the springs, perfectly limpid." 



In 1877 the Hot Springs Commission recognized the unhealthiness of the 

creek and recommended that the government construct a covering over 

39 
the creek. In 1882 Captain Thomas H. Handbury traveled to Hot 

Springs to study how best to improve the creek. He estimated that at 

time of flood the creek ran at 3,000 cubic feet per second. Handbury 

proposed a design to provide for these emergencies. His plan was 

to straighten somewhat its [Hot Springs Creek] tortuous course 
and confine it between parallel masonry walls. From near the 
head of the gorge to a point opposite the Arlington Hotel, the 
bed of the stream is to have a fall of one foot to eighty (1 on 
80). The walls are to be eight (8) feet high and seventeen 
(17) feet apart. From the foot of each wall to the point midway 
between the two the bed falls one foot. From the point above 
mentioned to the lower line of the reservation, the slope of the 
bottom is 1 on 120 and the walls twenty (20) feet apart, 
otherwise the conditions are the same. The foot of each wall I 
have placed a little more than a foot below the general level of 
the present bed of the creek. This is to insure that its 
foundation be upon bed rock. Should this not be found at this 
depth at all points the foundation must be carried further 
down. In all cases it should rest upon bed rock. The walls 
should be three (3) feet thick, built of granite, cut and laid in 
courses and backed with concrete. The cement used in making 
the mortar and concrete should be of a good standard quality. 
A good quality of granite can be found along the line of the 
Hot Springs Railway, and can be obtained at reasonable cost. 
So far as I have yet been able to learn this is the only stone 
suitable for building these walls that can be found in the 
neighborhood. 



Captain Handbury planned to install a 6-inch pipe along the mountainside 
wall of the channel to collect hot water. He planned to pump this water 
into a reservoir for use on the reservation. Two 12-inch pipes placed 
behind each wall would handle the sewage from the bathhouses and from 



121 



businesses across the street. Dressed granite and hydraulic cement 
mortar would form the arch walls, with each wall being 3 feet thick by 8 

feet high. Wrought-iron beams at 6-foot intervals and 13-inch-thick brick 

41 
arches would cover the creek. 



Congress approved covering the creek in 1882. In March 1883 the 
secretary of the interior awarded a contract to Asa P. Robinson for the 
work on Hot Springs Creek. Robinson defaulted on the contract in April 
of that year, and another contract was signed with George H. Bardwell 
on May 8, 1883. The secretary of the interior appointed Captain 
Handbury to act as general supervisor of construction. That same month 
Handbury resigned the position because of interference on construction 
work from Superintendent Samuel Hamblen. Captain Handbury's 
resignation was not accepted until August when Hamblen became the 
general supervisor for the project. Construction plans changed to allow 
for Hot Springs sandstone to be substituted for the specified granite and 
a masonry arch instead of I-beams. 

The work on vaulting the creek continued into 1884. A visitor to Hot 
Springs wrote the following: 



The work of vaulting over the creek upsets the main street 
terribly, and makes the whole place look out of trim, but a few 
months more will see it finished, (with the aid of an 
appropriation) and then there j^ill be a fine wide street running 
through the heart of the city. 



As the work continued, Department of the Interior officials directed that 
sewer line installation be omitted from the project and the covered creek 
act as a sewer. Hot Springs city officials and citizens protested this 
decision and strongly urged that the sewer line be restored as part of 
the project. The Department of the Interior refused, and in 1886 the 
city and a few of the bathhouse owners constructed a sewer line next to 
the covered arch. Bardwell only completed 252 feet of the 12-inch pipe 
planned for hot water collection before going bankrupt. A government 



122 



committee found that Bardwell and Hamblen had acted in an unprofessional 
manner. Charles W. Field replaced Hamblen as superintendent of the Hot 
Springs Reservation. Another contractor, W.P. Aldrich, completed the 
pipe line in 1886 under Field's direction. Also in 1886 a portion of the 
original Creek Arch wall proved defective and the secretary of the 
interior ordered the contractor to rebuild the wall in an appropriate 
manner. This work was not finished until the first months of 1887. 
Some ground leveling continued into 1888. The arch ran from the 

junction of Whittington and Park avenues to Malvern Avenue. It stood 17 

44 
feet wide and 10 feet high at the crown and cost $136,744.78. 

Many complaints about the quality of construction of Creek Arch resulted 
in Secretary of the Interior Hoke Smith's dispatching William P. Couper to 
inspect the work. Couper described the arch as 4,000 feet long, 20 feet 
wide at its base, and 15 feet high- -al I covered with 10 to 15 feet of earth 
and with manholes for access at regular intervals. He spent two hours 
inspecting various portions of the arch. He found the lower part of the 
arch constructed with cut stone and the remainder of cut stone fixed in 
place by cement. Couper discovered eight or 10 places where the stone 
did not reach bedrock, and in five of those places the arch showed signs 
of settling. Near the Old Hale Bathhouse he found a 4- to 5-foot crack 

in the wall. The repairs, Couper estimated, would cost around $500, but 

45 
he believed the arch to be fundamentally sound. 

A few months later Superintendent Little reported that the cracks had 
enlarged because of heavy rains that increased erosion under those 
portions of the wall not on bedrock. Little expressed fear that a collapse 
of the arch wall during a heavy rain would result in a flood of the 
business district of Hot Springs. Department of the Interior officials 

authorized an expenditure of $500 for the necessary repair work. The 

46 
repair work, completed in 1896, cost $248.97. 

Two years later Superintendent Little remarked that Creek Arch remained 
in good repair until "rains did considerable damage to the creek arch by 
washing the earth from under the foundation walls where the walls had 



123 



not been on solid rock. This damage has occurred at points where the 

arch passes under the street of the city as well as along the reservation 

47 
front." The superintendent obtained funds to make the necessary 

repairs, but every few years flooding undermined the arch wall, 

.... 48 

requiring repairs to avoid collapse of the structure. 



In 1901 Superintendent Eisele walked through the entire arch to inspect 
it. He found the repair work on the arch in good condition, but 

discovered some sewage discharging into the creek. He informed city 

49 
officials of the matter and they corrected it. 

Superintendent Eisele wrote to the secretary of the interior in 1904 
supporting House Resolution 9294, which called for the extension of the 
creek arch 2,000 linear feet beyond the Malvern Avenue terminus. He 



believed that the existing arch terminus created an unfavorable impression 

50 
on visitors and was unsanitary. Eventually, the arch was extended. A 

large sewer line was also placed in the arch during this period. 



Beginning in 1913, park officials recommended that collection and 
distribution hot water pipes be placed inside Creek Arch. They argued 
that this action would end the necessity of digging up the grounds along 
Bathhouse Row whenever a leak developed in the thermal system. The 
construction of the new water distribution system in 1931 resulted in the 
implementation of this proposal. A 12-inch insulated pipe was hung on 
the arch wall to carry water from the springs to the reservoir. In 
addition, the construction crew cleaned all debris and boulders from the 

water channel to increase the space in the arch in times of flood. 

51 
Maintenance work continues on and in the arch to the present. 



124 



ECONOMICS OF THE BATHING INDUSTRY 

Economics of the Baths 

The only expense to first bathers at Hot Springs was the outfitting 
required to get to the hot springs and camp there while they took the 
baths. The first commercial developments consisted of cabins and sheds 
rented out to seasonal visitors for lodging. Stores followed shortly, to 

supply the needs of the bathers. In 1830 Asa Thompson charged one 

52 
dollar for a series of baths in a wooden tub at his bathhouse. 

The bathhouse operators continued to charge whatever price they wished 
for the next 47 years. This changed dramatically with the arrival of the 
Hot Springs Commission in 1877. The commissioners proposed the 
following regulations concerning the thermal water: 

He [Hot Springs Reservation superintendent] should be 
required to lease the water at a low rate by the year. The 
rates of rent should be fixed at a certain sum for a bath. The 
object is to give the bather a cheap bath and healthy bath of 
Hot Water fresh from the Springs. To lease the water at a low 
rate to the owner of a bathing establishment is going but half 
way to no purpose, if he is allowed to put a high price upon 
the bath itself. The whole effect of this Government in making 
the Reservation is to furnish cheap baths to the people, and 
not to enrich the owners or lessees of bathhouses. 

The charges at the best bathhouses here are fifty cents per 
bath. This rate is too high. The best baths should not cost 
over twenty to twenty-five cents each, and a condition should 
be put into the leases that they should not cost more than this 
sum. 



Secretary of the Interior Schurz ordered Superintendent Kelley to fix 
water rents but did not specify the cost to be charged by the bathhouses 
per bath. Schurz further instructed Kelley to base all water rents on 
the number of baths taken in a particular bathhouse and average daily 
consumption of water. The bathhouse owners agreed they should pay a 
royalty to the government, which they requested be based solely on the 



125 



funding required to maintain the reservation. They objected to paying a 
water rent based on consumption of thermal water. Despite this protest, 

by 1879 Superintendent Kelley had established water rates ranging from 

54 
$40 to $100 a year on the bathhouses, hotels, restaurants, and stores. 

In November of 1880 the bathhouse owners formed an economic pool known 
as the Hot Springs Bath House Association. This pool fixed rates for the 
21-course baths. The pool received all money collected for bathing, and 
every six months the pool distributed the money to the individual 
bathhouses based on the number of tubs in each. The stated purpose of 
the pool was to stop the evil of drumming — bathhouse owners employing 
people to solicit customers for their particular bathhouse. In reality, this 
pool set up a monopoly among the small group of men who owned the 
bathhouses. Several of the bathhouse owners held substantial shares in 

bathhouses other than their own. For example, Albert B. Gaines held 

55 
interests in seven bathhouses and the Arlington Hotel in 1888. 

The price agreed on for a 21-course of baths <as 



H.M. Rector's Bath House 

Rammelsberg Bath House . 

Big Iron J.R. Wells & Co. Bath House 

Old Hale Nelson & Brown Bath House 

Ozark G.G. Latta Bath House . 

C.N. Rockafellow Bath House . 

Hot Springs Messrs Tobin Bath House 

Grand Central J. Griffith Bath House 



$10.00 

10.00 

8.00 

10.00 

10.00 

7.50 

6.00 

4.00 



56 



The fees for the new Palace, the new Rector's Bathhouse, and the 
Independent were not set because they were unfinished at the time. The 
association originally planned to set individual bath fees at the different 
bathhouses, ranging from $.25 to $.75. They, however, finally agreed to 
establish fees at between $.15 and $.50 per bath. The bathhouses sold 
tickets for one, seven, 10, and 21 baths, and the tickets could not be 
redeemed for money. An auditor selected by the association received all 
funds on Monday and on Tuesday checked the total of receipts against 
the number of baths given at each bathhouse. 



126 



The owners of the Independent soon withdrew from the pool and set their 
rates at below those of the combination. Two of the pooling bathhouses 
then cut their rates to below those of the Independent to force that 
bathhouse to rejoin the pool. Also, various acts of vandalism began 
occurring at the Independent Bathhouse. Finally, the owners of the 

Independent sold out to the pool at a loss of $7,000 on their original 

* 58 
investment. 

In 1881 Secretary of the Interior Samuel J. Kirkwood issued an order 
stipulating that no bathhouse could charge more than $.30 per bath. A 
petition from the citizens of Hot Springs to the new Secretary of the 
Interior Henry M. Teller in 1882 complained that these prices were unfair 
to both rich and poor. The rich could not obtain better accommodations, 
and the poor must spend $.30 for a bath. Within the next few years the 
government established a water charge of $15 a year per tub, with each 
bathhouse limited to a maximum of 40 tubs. Bath prices varied over the 

years within the framework established by the Hot Springs Bath House 

59 
Association and the government. 

By 1889 the Rockafellow Bathhouse and Hot Springs Bathhouse had 
withdrawn from the association, but the other nine bathhouses remained 
in the organization. The association members again tried to force the 
outside bathhouses back into line by cutting costs and argued that the 
organization prevented drumming. They further contended that the 
association provided the most efficient and inexpensive bathhouse 
operation for the public. Those in disagreement argued that the 
association fixed bath prices and provided a monopoly for a few bathhouse 
owners. The association continued to operate until the secretary of the 
interior issued an order on January 14, 1898, that it be dissolved. The 

bathhouse owners who continued to work together in the Hot Springs 

60 
Bath House Association no longer set bath rates. 

The bathhouses increased their bathing rates slightly in 1893, but 
continued the tradition of having the Christmas-to-July rates higher than 
the July-to-December rates. During the summer and fall months the 



127 



bathhouses received less visitation and their owners took this opportunity 
to paint and refurbish the facilities. During a year's time the bathhouses 

bathed an average of six people per tub per day, earning a profit of $63 

fi1 
a month for each tub. 

The Arlington, Park, and Eastman hotels in Hot Springs joined to form 
the Southwest Investment Company on May 15, 1895. The purpose of this 
holding company included managing the hotels and setting the rates for 
lodging and bathing at Hot Springs. The hotel owners argued that this 
provided the only means to prevent one or more of them from going 
bankrupt. Secretary of the Interior Cornelius N. Bliss determined that 
the activities of the Southwestern Investment Company were an illegal 
pooling agreement and ordered the company dissolved on June 15, 1897. 

Secretary of the Interior Bliss further directed the reservation to remove 
all restrictions on minimum pricing for baths. This resulted in little 
change to the bathing price structure, with a single bath costing from 
$.25 to $.50 and a course of 21 baths costing $3 to $10. One bathhouse 
(the Lamar) took the opportunity to raise prices, and two bathhouses 

CO 

(the Rammelsberg and Rockafellow) lowered prices. 

By the late 1910s the cost of bathing rose to between $7 and $12 for a 
course of 21 baths. Also, the bather paid a fee of $3 per course to the 
bath attendant. The cost of bathing gradually increased over the next 

decades. The bathhouses proved profitable to their stockholders and 

64 
declared yearly dividends. 

The economic situation for the bathhouses changed dramatically with the 
onset of the Great Depression in 1929. The bathhouse owners appealed to 
the superintendent of Hot Springs National Park and to the director of 
the National Park Service to reduce the water rates from $80 per tub to 
$60. The government had raised the water rates from $60 to $80 in 1919. 
The bathhouses paid the higher rates until the Great Depression caused a 
decline in the number of people bathing. The government agreed to 
provide relief for the bathhouse owners by reducing tub fees. The 



128 



number of baths taken gradually increased during the rest of the 
1930s. 65 



The increased business at the bathhouses continued until 1946. That 
year represented a peak for the bathing industry. In 1946, bathers 
purchased more than 1.2 million bath tickets for multiple baths on 
Bathhouse Row. This number declined in the next two decades, and by 
1964 bathers purchased only 400,000 baths. A slight increase occurred in 
the number of single bath tickets purchased, but this did not offset the 
dramatic overall economic decline. Bathing costs continued to increase 
over the years. The bathhouses, caught between rising costs and 

declining demand, gradually went out of business from the 1960s until the 

66 
1980s. Today only one bathhouse remains open on Bathhouse Row. 



The Plight of the Poor 

Impoverished individuals came to the hot springs shortly after their 
discovery by European explorers. While the wealthier spa patrons paid 
for private baths, the poor patrons gathered around thermal pools and 
bathed together. Since these pools lacked privacy, it became customary 
for the women to bath in the morning and men in the afternoon. In 1875 

Charles Leland of New York paid for the erection of a wooden building 

67 
over the largest pool that served the poor. 

By 1877, 300 to 400 indigent people occupied shanties and tents around 
three thermal pools known as Ral Hole, Corn Hole, and Mud Hole on Hot 
Springs Mountain. Superintendent Benjamin F. Kelley arrived in Hot 
Springs in October 1877. He posted notices that all temporary structures 
within the reservation grounds would be removed within 30 days. Many 
of the poor could not leave because of their health, and Kelley appealed 
to the people of Hot Springs to take care of them. The superintendent 
next ordered construction of two structures over bathing pools on the 
south side of Hot Springs Mountain for use by the poor. Charitable 

donations from wealthier bathers paid for these two facilities for the 

68 
poor. 



129 



One writer commented on one bathing spot that "the so called Ral 
Hole, ... is a bathing place for a few needy and syphilitic people, but 

principally it is the headquarters of a great number of thieves, tramps, 

69 
jail-birds, ruffians, deadbeats and roughs." Superintendent Kelley 

took decided action on September 25, 1878, when he ordered the building 

over Ral Hole torn down and burned. This action roused the rough 

elements to threaten to burn portions of the town. Superintendent Kelley 

responded by requesting a detachment of United States infantry from 

Little Rock to camp on the reservation and protect public property. 

Company E of the 13th Infantry, under the command of Henry Clay Pratt, 

arrived on December 10, 1878, to maintain order in Hot Springs. 

Despite these harsh measures, the government sympathized with the 
plight of the poor. In 1877 the Hot Springs Commission recommended that 
a free bathing program for the poor be established by law. 
Superintendent Kelley requested funds from the secretary of the interior 
for such a program. Congress passed legislation on December 16, 1878, 

directing the superintendent to provide and maintain a certain number of 

71 
baths for the indigent. 

Superintendent Kelley leased the Mud Hole pool to Deputy United States 
Marshal James L. Barnes at Hot Springs under the following conditions: 



Mr. Barnes was to construct a suitable building for bath room 
and reception rooms, also a bridge across the creek to give 
access to it. The labor and material to be furnished at his 
expense and he was also to bear the expense of warming and 
lighting the building, and keeping it in order for bathers. All 
classes were allowed to bathe under the following regulations. 
From seven till nine o'clock free to females. From nine to 
eleven a.m. females pay. From eleven till four o'clock p.m. 
males pay. From this hour till nine p.m. males free. This last 
arrangement enabled the indigent, who followed various 
employments to obtain baths after work for the day was 
concluded. 

The lessee constructed the building and bridge and improved 
the pool. He was required to bathe all who applied; those 
unable to pay free; those able to pay, but preferring for some 
reason to bathe here paid the sum of five to fifteen cents per 



130 



bath. This sum went to meet the expenses of the pool and to 
reimburse the lessee for his outlay. A list of all bathers was 
kept, and if any pecular case was presented, a record of it was 
made and the result of bathing. This was done at the 
suggestion of physicians for the benefit of similar cases in the 
future. The number bathing here is very large. . . . 



In 1880 Congress passed legislation that provided that money from the 
sale of public lots in Hot Springs be held in a special fund for the 
maintenance of the free baths. Attendance at the free bathhouse 
continued to grow during the next several years. In 1884 Superintendent 
Hamblen enlarged the old pool and constructed a new pool measuring 20 
feet square and 6 feet deep, requiring blasting of the mountainside rock. 

During the remodeling work, the local newspaper printed a story that the 

73 
blasting work caused Mud Hole to dry up, but this proved erroneous. 

Demand for free bathhouse facilities continued to increase. In 1887 
Superintendent Charles Field requested Congress to allocate $6,000 for 
constructing a new facility for the poor. The old facility had four small 
rooms with a dressing room and pool for each sex. Superintendent Field 
found this structure in poor condition and unsuitable for bathing in 
severe weather. 

Congress allocated money for the project, and work began on the new 
bathing facility in 1890. Superintendent Frank Thompson reported the 
following in 1891: 



The new brick bath house erected on the site of the old wooden 
structure was accepted and received from the contractor on 
February 18, 1891, and opened to the puh'ic for free baths on 
the 23d day of the same month. The size of the new building 
is about 45 by 60 feet. The main portion, 45 by 35 feet, 
contains the office and waiting rooms, dressing rooms, etc., in 
the first story, while the second story is designed for use of 
the manager. At the rear of the dressing rooms is located the 
bathing department, consisting of a long, low, one-story 
addition, 20 by 53 feet, containing two rooms, with a bathing 
pool in each. The men's pool-room is much larger of the two, 
for the reason that about four times as many men bathe here as 
do women. 



131 



In 1893 Superintendent William Little found the bathhouse for the poor in 
need of minor repairs. He stated that the large number of bathers 
prevented the poor from obtaining a sufficient bath to cure their 
ailments. The reason for the large volume of bathers, Little believed, 
was because people came to the free bathhouse to avoid paying for 

thermal water baths. He intended to take action against those applying 

76 
for permission to use the free bathhouse who were not truly indigent. 

Little required each applicant at the free bathhouse to respond in writing 
to a series of questions. He evaluated these responses to determine if 
the person was indigent. If the person was found needy, a ticket for 21 
baths would be issued. This procedure brought strong protest to the 
secretary of the interior; some people complained that this barred many 
deserving people from the baths because they had too much pride to claim 
to be paupers. Despite these restrictions, the number of those seeking 
baths here continued to increase. 

The crowds at the free bathhouse caused a number of health problems 
and complaints about the sanitary conditions there. Superintendent Little 
countered these complaints by establishing a procedure by which the 
bathhouse opened at 6:00 a.m. and remained opened until 12:30 p.m. 
Then the attendants drained the pools, ventilated the rooms, refilled the 
pools, and reopened at 2:00 p.m. While the pools were in use, a 
constant stream of water ran through them. The bathhouse remained 
opened until 6 p.m. when it closed and the pools were drained and the 
building cleaned, scrubbed, and disinfected. On Wednesdays from 
2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. the bathhouse closed and visitors took tours of 
the building. 

In 1898 the second story of the free bathhouse was refitted to serve as a 
free dispensary. Doctors from the Army and Navy Hospital examined 
patients and prescribed for them free of charge. At first, the operation 
lacked sufficient medicine, but the superintendent hoped to raise funds 
from public contributions to pay for additional medicine. The dispensary 

remained open for two years until reassignments at the Army and Navy 

79 
Hospital left the dispensary without a doctor. 



132 



In 1900 construction began on a separate pool for black men. The large 
demand for the free bathhouse and its poor condition led the secretary of 
the interior to request Congress to appropriate funding for a new 
bathhouse. Congress approved an appropriation in 1902 of $25,000 for 
remodeling and enlarging the free bathhouse. The original bathhouse 
remained as an administration office. Construction of the two wings to 
the building began in 1903. Superintendent Eisele ordered a temporary 
wooden bathhouse placed over the thermal pools for the poor to bathe in 
during construction. The new additions contained bathtubs recessed into 
the floor to facilitate getting in and out of the tubs. In addition, cooling 
rooms and dressing rooms with private lockers were constructed, along 

with separate facilities for black and white patrons. The new facilities 

80 
opened to serve the public in January 1904. 

The materials used in the bathhouse construction were of poor quality, 
and the bathhouse required constant maintenance to keep it operating. 
To increase bathing facilities, Superintendent W. Scott Smith ordered the 

removal of 32 individual tubs and their replacement by 10 pools in 1907. 

81 
Twenty-four tubs remained to serve the needs of individual cases. 

An inspection of the Hot Springs Reservation in 1910 revealed the 
following conditions in the free bathhouse: 



It is in bad repair, dingy and uninviting looking, the walls are 
cracking, the plaster has fallen in places, it is 
overcrowded--for the indigent have not been slow to take 
advantage of the paternal goodness of the Government. They 
troop in by scores, both sexes and all colors, afflicted with all 
kinds of diseases. Some days there are eight hundred taking 
the baths, and to accommodate such numbers, it was thought 
necessary to introduce pools to supplement the overworked bath 
tubs. The dressing and cooling rooms are foul, infested with 
vermin and crowded with a horde of people, black and white, 
some with open ulcers. The attendants are ignorant of their 
duties, some are illiterate. The atmosphere is indescribable. 
Filthy rags with pus from syphilitic ulcers, are found on the 
floors. No criticism attaches to the management. No one could 
do better under the present system. The buiUling is too small 
for the purpose, and is not properly arranged. 



133 



Congress passed legislation defining the qualifications of indigent and 
providing fines for those falsely taking a pauper's oath. Those caught 
violating the law could be fined up to $25 and placed in jail for 30 days. 

The purpose of this law was to discourage all but the truly needy from 

83 
using the free bathhouse. 

To improve the quality of care at the free bathhouse, a medical director 
took over its supervision in 1911. A report two years later criticized the 
treatment that the poor had received at the free bathhouse. The report 
found most of the poor diagnosed their own afflictions without benefit of a 
doctor. Thus the thermal water proved of little help in relieving more 

than the symptoms of their diseases. In April 1916 a free clinic to serve 

84 
the poor was opened on the second floor of the bathhouse. 

In 1918 planning began for the construction of a new free bathhouse. 
Actual construction did not begin until after World War I, with the official 
ground-breaking ceremony taking place on January 31, 1920. Hot 
Springs officials donated a block of land off the reservation for the new 
free bathhouse. The bathhouse opened to the public in March 1922, and 
the old government bathhouse was demolished during the latter half of 
that year. 

During the depression, the use of the free bathhouse and government 
clinic continued to grow. In 1936 Congress increased the penalties for 
falsely swearing a pauper's oath. Little change occurred in the indigent 
bathing program for the next several decades. Like the rest of the 

bathing industry at Hot Springs, the use of the free bathhouse declined 

86 
dramatically after World War II. 

In 1951 Superintendent Donald Libbey proposed that the individual 
bathhouses carry out the indigent bathing program and that the free 
bathhouse be turned into an underwater therapy facility. The bathhouses 
would be reimbursed for the cost of the baths taken by the poor. 
Implementation of this plan occurred in 1957. The poor applied at park 
headquarters for the free bathing program, and upon approval a 



134 



physician examined the applicant to determine if the thermal water would 
prove helpful. If baths were prescribed, the person was assigned to a 
bathhouse participating in the program for a prescribed number of baths. 
The bathhouse then kept account of the number of baths taken and 

turned these figures over to park authorities for reimbursement. This 

87 
program continues to the present. 



MINORITIES AND THE BATHING INDUSTRY 



Blacks 



Like the poor, minorities faced various obstacles in bathing. The 
contribution of the blacks to the bathing industry is a complex story. 
They provided the main source of labor for the industry; they also 
attempted over the years, with varying degrees of success, to obtain 
thermal baths. Before the Civil War, a few of the bathhouses offered 
bathing services to blacks. The first documentation that shows that 

blacks worked as bathhouse attendants is dated after the Civil War; 

88 
however, this practice may extend back to the antebellum period. 

A visitor to Hot Springs in 1877 found black women doing laundry for the 
bathhouses and hotels and black men serving as bath attendants, selling 
souvenirs to bathers, and working at various other jobs around the 
bathhouses. When the bathhouses faced financial difficulties, the blacks 

suffered the most because bathhouse owners forced them to take wage 

89 
cuts to keep the bathhouses profitable. 

Blacks, working as attendants, received fees from the bathers for their 
work. By 1881 the reservation superintendent issued regulations 
stipulating that the bath attendant fees be a maximum of $1 a week. In 
1889 the bathhouses began collecting these fees and giving the bath 
attendants fixed salaries of $10 a week. Those bathhouses that gave 
more than 10 baths a week per attendant received additional revenue from 

this policy. The resulting demoralization of the black attendants resulted 

90 
in the bathhouses discontinuing this practice after two months. 



135 



Black bath patrons during this time could bathe in the various bathhouses 
at times when whites were not using them. The one exception to this 
rule was the free government bathhouse, which permitted black and white 
bath patrons during the evening. The Independent Bathhouse opened as 
an exclusive black bathhouse on March 1, 1890. This operation proved 
short-lived; by September 1891 blacks complained that they could not 
purchase bath tickets in any of the bathhouses. Many blacks refused to 
go to the government bathhouse because they had to perjure themselves 
by signing a pauper's oath to obtain baths there. A few of the 
bathhouses served blacks if they came at sunrise or late in the afternoon 
after regular business hours. The blacks remained excluded from prime 

bathing times until the Crystal Bathhouse opened at the beginning of the 

91 
20th century to serve their needs. 

Bathhouse owners exploited black workers, charged them for any 
breakage of bathhouse equipment, and even ordered them to vote for 
specific candidates in local elections. The reservation superintendent 
issued a variety of rules and regulations to prevent the worst of these 
abuses. Church pastors in 1891 requested that the bathhouses close on 

Sunday to allow the attendants a day of rest. This did not take place 

92 
for many decades. 

In 1903 Superintendent Eisele described the working conditions for the 
bath attendants in the following manner: 



All bath house attendants bathe their persons every day. When 
they report for duty in the morning they disrobe and put on a 
bathing suit of white duck trousers and a thin gauze 
undershirt; their duties require them to work in a temperature 
of from 95 to 100 degrees and as a natural consequence their 
suits become saturated with perspiration in a short time, which 
detracts from their personal appearance. Being a hazardous 
business and destructive of health, white men shun this work 
and it follows that the negro is the natural bath attendant. So 
far as their work is concerned it compares favorably with other 
laborers of this grade of intelligence. 



136 



Bathing conditions for the blacks changed for the better in 1901 when 
Superintendent Eisele ordered the construction of a separate bathing pool 
for blacks at the Government Free Bathhouse. The pool was completed on 
September 4, 1901. The exclusively black Crystal Bathhouse, built in the 
early 1900s, faced a number of financial difficulties in the late 1910s. On 
January 1, 1912, the Black Knights of Pythias received the lease for the 
bathhouse. Also, the Alhambra Bathhouse began providing baths 
exclusively for blacks, although this bathhouse never proved a financial 
success. Later, this facility changed to a white bathhouse. The 
Supreme Woodmen of the Union of the USA, a black organization, received 
government permission to operate a hospital and bathhouse for blacks in 
1920. The completed black hospital and bathhouse opened in 1922, and it 
remained opened until November 30, 1935. This institution lost money the 
last few years it operated. Park superintendents disapproved various 
applications to reopen this bathhouse because they believed the remaining 

Knights of Pythias bathhouse provided adequate service to black 

94 
bathers. 

The traditional role of blacks as bath attendants was challenged in 1911 
when the Buckstaff Bathhouse requested permission to hire white 
attendants. Manager George E. Hogaboom of the Buckstaff Bathhouse 
wrote: "We believe that the white attendant position will not only give us 

a higher standard of intelligence, but will improve the service in many 

^ ..95 

other ways." 

Hot Springs Reservation officials approved the change, and by 1913 the 
Buckstaff advertised as having a completely white staff. The Maurice 
Bathhouse hired one white attendant, and seven black attendants walked 
out on strike rather than work with a white. The Maurice Bathhouse 
management replaced the striking attendants rather than release the white 
employee. Despite these incidents, the professions of bath attendant and 
mercury rubber remained mainly black professions. By 1944 the 
Buckstaff remained the only bathhouse with white attendants. Today 

there is a mix. Actually the male bath attendants all happen to be black; 

96 
all the women are white. But that is just coincidence. 



137 



Even though the superintendents of Hot Springs Reservation and later 
Hot Springs National Park approved integration of the bath attendant 
profession, they actively promoted segregation of the bathhouses. In 
July 1926 Superintendent Joseph Bolton wrote to the manager of the 
Ozark Bathhouse that blacks bathing in white bathhouses should not be 
permitted. In 1945 Superintendent John W. Emmert promoted enlarging 
the Knights of Pythias bathhouse, arguing that black bathers could 
request use of white bathhouses if the Pythian bathhouse became too 

crowded. The Government Free Bathhouse continued to serve both black 

97 
and white patrons in separate facilities and at different times. 

In 1947 the National Baptist Church applied for permission to operate a 
10-tub bathhouse for blacks. This request received approval, and they 
opened a second bathhouse that catered exclusively to blacks. The 
National Baptist Church used the same building as the Supreme Woodmen 
of the Union, which accounted for the term "sanitarium" on the terra 
cotta of the building. It was a hotel bathhouse, as was the Pythian. 

Changing attitudes toward segregation and a growing civil rights 
movement gradually made it impossible for the white bathhouses to not 
offer their services to blacks. By 1963 blacks could obtain bath tickets 

for any bathhouse, and in the next few years the bathhouses became 

98 
fully integrated. 



Other Minority Groups 

Other minority groups traveled to Hot Springs. The largest group was 
women. The first women to arrive were wives of settlers or the 
daughters of planters coming to take the water. Women soon owned or 
managed boarding houses near the hot springs. By the 1830s women 
came on their own to bathe in the thermal waters. The predominately 
male community set various bathing times for men and women at the 
popular bathing locations. The women usually were left with the less 
desirable times for bathing. By the mid-19th century the bathhouses 



138 



contained separate facilities for men and women, the main difference being 
that the women's facilities were smaller. In the late 19th and early 20th 

centuries the bathhouses gradually offered more services and medical 

99 
treatment to women. 



Other minority groups that came to visit or settle in the Hot Springs area 
were Jews, Hungarians, Italians, and Germans. A Jewish congregation 
existed in Hot Springs as early as 1881. Various hotels and boarding 
houses in the 20th century offered kosher food to customers. Various 
European ethnic groups established restaurants that featured foods from 
their native countries. These people came here for a variety of 
reasons — including the spa atmosphere that reminded them of spas in their 

own countries. All contributed to the rich social and cultural heritage of 

u + c • 100 

Hot Springs. 



139 



Notes from Chapter 5 



1. Bryan, "Report on the Hot Water Supply," p. 2. 

2. David Dale Owens, Second Report of a Geological Reconnaissance of 
the Middle and Southern Counties of Arkansas . Made during the Years of 
1859 and 1860 (Philadelphia: C. Sherman & Son, Printers, 1860), 
pp. 21-22. 

3. Ibid., Plate VIM. 

4. W.J. Peittau to Alonzo Bell, March 23, 1878, Entry 1, Box 3, RG 79, 
NA; John Coburn to Carl Schurz, July 16, 1877, Entry 1, Box 3, RG 79, 
NA; Kelley to Schurz, June 21, 1878, Entry 1, Box 3, RG 79, NA; and 
Martin Eisele to Ethan A. Hitchcock, February 15, 1901, Entry 1, Box 26, 
RG 79, NA. 

5. Kelley to Schurz, March 23, 1880, Entry 1, Box 5, RG 79, NA; 
Eisele to Hitchcock, February 15, 1901, Entry 1, Box 26, RG 79, NA; 
Greaves to Kelley, May 25, 1880, Entry 1, Box 5, RG 79, NA; and 
George French to Kelley, April 28, 1880, Entry 1, Box 5, RG 79, NA. 

6. French to Kelley, June 11, 1880, Entry 1, Box 5, RG 79, NA; and 
Amos Hadley to Schurz, January 27, 1881, Entry 1, Box 6, RG 79, NA. 

7. Latta to Kelley and Schurz, July 18, 1880, Entry 1, Box 5, RG 79, 
NA; Kelley to Bell, July 24, 1880, Entry 1, Box 5, RG 79, NA; and 
William Nelson to Bell, October 4, 1880, Entry 1, Box 5, RG 79, NA. 

8. Samuel Hamblen to Kelley, March 15, 1881, Entry 1, Box 5, RG 79, 
NA; and Kelley to Samuel J. Kirkwood, Secretary of the Interior, 
November 21, 1881, Entry 1, Box 6, RG 79, NA. 

9. Handbury to Henry M. Teller, Secretary of the Interior, 
September 18, 1882, Entry 1, Box 7, RG 79, NA. 

10. Eisele to Hitchcock, February 15, 1901, Entry 1, Box 26, RG 79, 
NA; and Hamblen to Teller, May 28, 1884, Entry 1, Box 9, RG 79, NA. 

11. Thomas H. Musick to Secretary of the Interior, no date, Entry 1, 
Box 14, RG 79, NA; Hamblen to Lucius Q.C. Lamar, Secretary of the 
Interior, April 11, 1885, Entry 1, Box 9, RG 79, NA; and Charles W. 
Field, Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs Reservation , to the 
Secretary of the Interior , 1885 . (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1885), p. 4. 

12. Frederick W. Cron, Mineral Waters at Hot Springs , Arkansas 
(n.p. :n.p. , 1939), p. 4. 

13. Musick to Secretary of the Interior, n.d., Entry 1, Box 14, RG 79, 
NA; and Frank M. Thompson, Report of the Superintendent of Hot 



140 



Springs Reservation to the Secretary of Interior , 1891 (Washington, 
D.C.: GPO, 1891), p. 21. 

14. Cron, Mineral Waters , p. 3; Thompson, Report of the Superintendent 
of Hot Springs Reservation to the Secretary of Interior , 1891 , p. 21; 
Musick to Secretary of Interior, n.d., Entry 1, Box 14, RG 79, NA; and 
Baird to Secretary of Interior, August 3, 1889, Entry 1, Box 14, RG 79, 
NA. 

15. Cron, Mineral Waters , p. 3; and Musick to Secretary of Interior, 
n.d., Entry 1, Box 14, RG 79, NA. 

16. Rector to Noble, August 11, 1890, Entry 1, Box 12, RG 79, NA; 
Thomas H. Musick, p. 24; and Laughran to Noble, April 25, 1890, 
Entry 1, Box 12, RG 79, NA. 

17. Greene to Thompson, September 17, 1890, Entry 1, Box 12, RG 79, 
NA; Petitioners to Noble, February 24, 1891, Entry 1, Box 13, RG 79, 
NA; and Cron, Mineral Waters , p. 3. 

18. Cron, Mineral Waters , p. 3; William Little, Report of the 
Superintendent of Hot Springs Reservation to the Secretary of Interior , 
1893 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1893), p. 5; Scully, Hot Springs , 
Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , pp. 120-121; and William Little, 
Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs Reservation to the Secretary 
of Interior , 1898 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1898), p. 9. 

19. Thompson, Report of the Superintendent , p. 24 and U.S. Congress, 
House, Report of the Secretary of the Interior , 1892 , House Exec. 
Doc. 12, 52d Cong., 2d sess., 1893, p. 89. 

20. Thompson, Report of the Superintendent , 1891 , p. 23. 

21. More detailed information on these fountains can be found in Rhodes, 
Historic Grounds and Structures . Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot 
Springs National Park , pp. 117-118; Little, Report of the Superintendent , 
1895 , p. 7; and Little, Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs 
Reservation to the Secretary of Interior , 1897 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 
1897), p. 14. 

22. Little to Secretary of Interior, July 14, 1899, Entry 1, Box 24, 
RG 79, NA; Little to Secretary of Interior, August 7, 1899, Entry 1, 
Box 24, RG 79, NA; Little to Secretary of Interior, September 18, 1899, 
Entry 1, Box 24, RG 79, NA; Little to Secretary of Interior, October 30, 
1899, Entry 1, Box 24, RG 79, NA; Martin A. Eisele, Report of the 
Superintendent of Hot Springs Reservation , (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 
1900), p. 18; and Harry H. Meyers, Report on the Hot Springs 
Reservation , Hot Springs , Arkansas (Washington, D.C.:" GPO, 1909), 
p. 5. 

23. Eisele to Secretary of Interior, January 25, 1902, Entry 1, Box 26, 
RG 79, NA; and Martin A. Eisele, Report of the Superintendent of the 



141 



Hot Springs Reservation to the Secretary of the Interior , 1903 
(Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1903), p. 11. 

24. Eisele to Secretary of the Interior, August 13, 1903, Entry 1, 
Box 28, RG 79, NA. 

25. Ibid. 

26. Ibid. 

27. For additional detail on reservoir work, see Rhodes, Historic Ground 
and Structures . Eisele to Secretary of the Interior, November 5, 1903, 
Entry 1, Box 28, RG 79, NA; Eisele to Secretary of Interior, February 4, 
1904, Entry 1, Box 29, RG 79, NA; Eisele to Secretary of the Interior, 
April 1, 1904, Entry 1, Box 29, RG 79, NA; Eisele to Secretary of the 
Interior, April 16, 1904, Entry 1, Box 29, RG 79, NA; Eisele to 
Secretary of the Interior, May 2, 1904, Entry 1, Box 29, RG 79, NA; and 
Martin A. Eisele, Report of Superintendent of Hot Springs Reservation 
(Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1904), pp. 336-337. 

28. W. Scott Smith, Report of Superintendent of Hot Springs Reservation 
(Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1908), p. 6. 

29. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
p. 121; Rhodes; Historic Grounds and Structures , pp. 103-104, 120. 

30. Hamilton, "Report on Construction," RG 79, NA; Cron, Mineral 
Waters at Hot Springs , p. 3; and Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot 
Springs National Park , p. 121. 

31. Hamilton, "Report on Construction," RG 79, NA; Cron, Mineral 
Waters at Hot Springs , p. 3; and Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot 
Springs National Park , pp. 121-122. 

32. The description of the crystal fountain refers to its pouring in a 
sand mold. The crystals were embedded in tamped sand with the bases 
extending into cavities. Bronze was poured into the cavities and after 
lengthy cooling the sand was scratched away from the bronze and the 
protruding crystals. The fountain consisted of bronze and crystal. 
Rhodes, Historic Grounds and Structures , pp. 186-192. 

33. Ralph W. Emerson to Thomas Vint, November 6, 1936, Rhodes 
Collection, Box 4, Background Data 1935-1939 File; Donald S. Libbey, 
"Annual Report for Hot Springs National Park for 1938," Rhodes 
Collection, Box 4, Background Data 1935-1939 File, p. 24; Preston P. 
Patraw, "Annual Report for Hot Springs National Park for 1939," Rhodes 
Collection, Box 4, Background Data 1935-1939 File, pp. 18-19; "First 
Work on Proposed Cooling System Started," April 2, 1946, uncataloged 
newspaper clippings in Special Collections, Hot Springs National Park; 
Thomas Boles, "Preliminary Annual Report Hot Springs National Park, 
Arkansas," Rhodes Collection, Box 4, Background Data 1935-1939 File; 
and Thomas Boles, "Annual Report for Hot Springs National Park For the 



142 



Year Ended June 30, 1948," Rhodes Collection, Box 4, Background Data 
1935-1939 File, p. 2. 

34. Thomas Boles to Director of the National Park Service, May 27, 1949, 
Rhodes Collection, Box 4, Background Data 1940-1949 File; "Government 
to Construct Central Cooling System" 1949, Hot Springs National Park, 
Hot Springs, Arkansas, K34 News, Media, and Publicity File; and Scully, 
Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , p. 122. 

35. Donald S. Libbey, "Preliminary Annual Report for 1951-1952 Fiscal 
Year," June 16, 1952, Rhodes Collection, Box 4, Background Data 
1950-Present File, n.p.; H. Raymond Gregg, "Preliminary Annual Report 
for 1961-1962 Fiscal Year," June 15, 1962, Rhodes Collection, Box 4, 
Background Data 1950-Present File, n.d.; and Scully, Hot Springs , 
Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , p. 123. 

36. A naturalistic cascade was constructed in 1983. The term "display 
spring" is not understood, and after fighting a losing battle, the former 
display spring is called the "open springs" and the display on the Tufa 
Terrace is called the "cascade." The term "cascade" comes from plans 
over several decades for a formal structure at this site. Lack of water 
prevented construction of this enormous display despite a high level of 
interest. In the 1970s planners realized the water should be used for 
display rather than being wasted in the overflow of the central reservoir. 
Rhodes, Historic Grounds and Structures , pp. 232, 254. 

37. Brown, The American Spa , p. 36. 

38. Van Cleef, The Hot Springs of Arkansas , 1878 , p. 12. 

39. Coburn and Stearns to Schurz, July 16, 1877, Entry 1, Box 3, 
RG 79, NA. 

40. Handbury to Secretary of Interior, September 18, 1882, Entry 1, 
Box 7, RG 79, NA. 

41. Ibid.; and "Specifications for Work to be done on the Hot Springs 
Creek, Hot Springs, Arkansas," no date, Entry 1, Box 7, RG 79, NA. 

42. Handbury to Secretary of Interior, May 28, 1883, Entry 1, Box 8, 
RG 79, NA; Handbury to Secretary of Interior, June 22, 1883; Handbury 
to Henry M. Teller, July 5, 1883, Entry 1, Box 8, RG 79, NA; and 
Hamblen to M.L. Joslyn, August 6, 1883, Entry 1, Box 8, RG 79, NA. 

43. "Arkansaw's Hot Springs," The New York Times , 13 January 1884, 
p. 4. 

44. Congressional hearings revealed that blasting in the rock at bottom 
of the culvert affected the flow of the springs. Because of this, the 
digging out of the bottom was discontinued. The spring at the 
Government Free Bathhouse most affected by blasting had a reduction in 
flow. The cure for that, ironically, was more blasting and deepening of 



143 



the pool. Samuel Hamblen, Report of the Superintendent of the Hot 
Springs Reservation , Made to the Secretary of the Interior , for the Year 
Ending June 30, 1884 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1884), p. 4; Hamblen to 
Joslyn, December 22, 1883, Entry 1, Box 8, RG 79, NA; Charles Field, 
Report of the Hot Springs Reservation (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1885), 
p. 3; Charles Field, Report of the Superintendent of the Hot Springs 
Reservation , Made to the Secretary of the Interior , 1886 (Washington, 
D.C.: GPO, 1886), p. 3; and Martin A. Eisele, Report of the 
Superintendent of the Hot Springs Reservation (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 
1901), p. 26. 

45. Couper to Smith, December 26, 1895, Rhodes Collection, Box 1, 
Background Data Prehistory-1890 File. 

46. Little, Report of the Superintendent of the Hot Springs Reservation 
to the Secretary of the Interior , 1895 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1895), 
p. 8; and William J. Little, Report of the Superintendent of the Hot 
Springs Reservation to the Secretary of the Interior , 1896 (Washington, 
D.C.: GPO, 1896), p. 9. 

47. Little, Report of the Superintendent of the Hot Springs Reservation 
to the Secretary of the Interior , 1898 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1898), 
p. 8. 

48. Ibid.; and Little, Report of the Superintendent of the Hot Springs 
Reservation to the Secretary of the Interior , 1899 (Washington, D.C.: 
GPO, 1899), p. 10. 

49. Eisele, Report of the Superintendent of the Hot Springs Reservation , 
1901 , p. 26. 

50. Eisele to Secretary of the Interior, January 18, 1904, Entry 1, 
Box 29, RG 79, NA; and Harry H. Myers, Report of the Superintendent 
of the Hot Springs Reservation , Hot Springs , Arkansas , (Washington, 
D.C.: GPO, 1913), pp. 15-16. 

51. Cron, Mineral Waters , p. 4. 

52. "Impasse on Central Avenue," Unidentified magazine clipping, Rhodes 
Collection, Box 3, Bathhouse Row General File, p. 52. 

53. John Coburn to Carl Schurz, July 16, 1877, Entry 1, Box 3, RG 79, 
NA. 

54. The Arlington Hotel paid $100 water rent per year. The Grand 
Central paid $75 a year. The Sumpter House and French's Hotel paid $60 
a year. The Parker Hotel paid $50 and all restaurants and stores paid 
$40 a year. "Instructions to the Superintendent of the Hot Springs 
Reservation of Arkansas," 21 September 1877, Entry 1, Box 3, RG 79, 
NA; W.J. Peittau to Alonzo Bell, March 23, 1878, Entry 1, Box 3, RG 79, 
NA; and Kelley to Schurz, January 24, 1879, Entry 1, Box 5, RG 79, 
NA. 



144 



55. The practice of drumming will be discussed in this report. In 1880, 
Henry M. Rector was the major owner of Rector's Bathhouse and the 
uncompleted Rector's New Bathhouse. Harry Rammelsberg was the major 
owner of the Rammelsberg. J.R. Wells and Company held the major 
shares of the Big Iron Bathhouse. Charles Brown and William Nelson held 
major interests in the Old Hale Bathhouse. George J. Latta held the 
major share in the Ozark Bathhouse. Charles N. Rockafellow owned the 
major interest in Rockafellow's Bathhouse. W.H. Tobin controlled a 
majority share of the Hot Springs Bathhouse. James Griffith controlled 
the Grand Central Bathhouse. Samuel W. Fordyce held the major shares 
in uncompleted New Palace Bathhouse, and M. McKeogh and George H. 
Holmes held major shares in the uncompleted Independent Bathhouse. A 
listing of bathhouse owners from 1888 until 1891 can be found in appendix 
A. "Memorandum Hot Springs Affairs," n.d., Entry 1, Box 12, RG 79, 
NA; and Amos Hadley to Schurz, January 27, 1881, Entry 1, Box 6, 
RG 79, NA. 

56. Ibid. 

57. Ibid.; and Hadley to Schurz, January 27, 1881, Entry 1, Box 6, 
RG 79, NA. 

58. Ibid.; and Charles Maurice to Edward Renaud, May 26, 1881, 
Entry 1, Box 6, RG 79, NA. 

59. Petition of the People of Hot Springs to Henry M. Teller, 1882, 
Entry 1, Box 7, RG 79, NA; and "A Hot-Water Combine," The Chicago 
Tribune , 25 March 1888, Entry 1, Box 11, RG 79, NA. 

60. A ticket for 21 baths in 1889 cost as follows: Lamar, $7; 
Rammelsburg $3; Ozark, $3; Magnesia, $7; Horseshoe, $3.50; Palace, 
$3.75; Independent, $3; Old Hale, $2; and Big Iron, $2. Ibid.; Robert 
Proctor to Frank M. Thompson, August 26, 1889, Entry 1, Box 11, 
RG 79, NA; James L. Barns to Thompson, August 28, 1889, Entry 1, 
Box 11, RG 79, NA; Albert B. Gaines to Thompson, August 24, 1889, 
Entry 1, Box 11, RG 79, NA; Charles W. Field to Secretary of the 
Interior, February 5, 1889, Entry 1, Box 11, RG 79, NA; Thompson to 
Secretary of Interior, July 24, 1889, Entry 1, Box 11, RG 79, NA; and 
William Little to Secretary of Interior, April 22, 1898, Entry 1, Box 22, 
RG 79, NA. 

61. Little to Secretary of the Interior, December 18, 1893, Entry 1, 
Box 15, RG 79, NA; and "Estimate in Reference to Bathing Facilities at 
Hot Springs, Arkansas," ca. 1891, Entry 1, Box 14, RG 79, NA. 

62. S.S. Wilson to Hoke Smith, August 29, 1894, Entry 1, Box 17, 
RG 79, NA; George W. Parker to D.R. Francis, December 2, 1896, 
Entry 1, Box 19, RG 79, NA; Adolphus Busch to David R. Francis, 
January 13, 1897, Entry 1, Box 21, RG 79, NA; and "Agreement to 
Dissolve the Southwestern Investment Company," June 15, 1897, Entry 1, 
Box 20, RG 79, NA. 



145 



63. William J. Little to Secretary of Interior, August 30, 1897, Entry 1, 
Box 21, RG 79, NA. 

64. Hot Springs , Arkansas : The World's Greatest Health and Pleasure 
Resort (n.p.rn.p., ca. 1917), p. 4. 

65. Omer Wilson to Horace Albright, October 27, 1932, Entry 6, 
Box 336, RG 79, NA; and Thomas J. Allen, Jr., to Director, National 
Park Service, November 10, 1932, Entry 6, Box 336, RG 79, NA. 

66. EBS Management Consultants Incorporated, General Business Study 
for Hot Springs Bath House Association (New York: EBS Management 
Consultants Incorporated, 1965), p. A-1 . 

67. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
p. 59. 

68. Kelley to Secretary of the Interior, October 22, 1877, Entry 1, 
Box 3, RG 79, NA; Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs 
National Park , pp. 113, 125; Kelley, Report of the Superintendent , 1878 , 
p. 1; and John B. Clark to Carl Schurz, June 12, 1879, Entry 1, Box 5, 
RG 79, NA. 

69. F. Hartman to Schurz, October 1, 1878, Entry 1, Box 3, RG 79, 
NA. 

70. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
p. 113; R.F. Linde to Secretary of the Interior, October 9, 1878, 
Entry 1, Box 3, RG 79, NA; Keiley to Schurz, September 28, 1878, 
Entry 1, Box 3, RG 79, NA; Kelley to Schurz, October 9, 1878, Entry 1, 
Box 3, RG 79, NA; Kelley to Schurz, December 30, 1878, Entry 1, 
Box 3, RG 79, NA; and Brown, The American Spa , p. 38. 

71. Coburn and Stearns to Schurz, July 16, 1877, Entry 1, Box 3, 
RG 79, NA; Kelley to Schurz, August 15, 1878, Entry 1, Box 3, RG 79, 
NA; and Hot Springs National Park, Bathhouse Operations Manual (Hot 
Springs, Arkansas: U.S. Department of the Interior, 1979), p. E-1 . 

72. Samuel Hamblen to Henry M. Teller, June 27, 1883, Entry 1, Box 8, 
RG 79, NA. 

73. Brown, The American Spa , pp. 38-39; Hamblen to Teller, March 14, 

1883, Entry 1, Box 8, RG 79, NA; Hamblen to Teller, February 8, 1883, 
Entry 1, Box 8, RG 79, NA; Hamblen to M.L. Joslyn, March 10, 1884, 
Entry 1, Box 9, RG 79, NA; "The Celebrated Mud Hole Left Without 
Water," The Daily Sentinel (Hot Springs, Arkansas), 3 March 1884, 
Entry 1, Box 9, RG 79, NA; and Hamblen, Report of the Superintendent , 

1884 , p. 4. 

74. Brown, The American Spa, p. 39. 



146 



75. Thompson, Report of the Superintendent , 1891 , p. 20. 

76. Little, Report of the Superintendent 1893 , p. 4. 

77. Little, Report of the Superintendent of the Hot Springs Reservation 
to the Secretary of the Interior , 1894 , p. 5; and O. Pearson to Tom 
Johnson, August 21, 1893, Entry 1, Box 6, RG 79, NA. 

78. "Notes on the Present Bath Houses," The Hot Springs Medical 
Journal 1 (July 15, 1892), p. 137; Hot Springs , Arkansas : Its Hotels , 
Baths , Resorts , and Beautiful Scenery Illustrated , p. 46; and Little, 
Report of the Superintendent of the Hot Springs Reservation , 1895 , p. 4. 

79. Little, Report of the Superintendent of the Hot Springs Reservation , 
1898 , p. 8; and J. George Wright to Secretary of the Interior, June 17, 
1901, Entry 1, Box 26, RG 79, NA. 

80. Martin A. Eisele, Report of the Superintendent of the Hot Springs 
Reservation 1905 , p. 12; Martin A. Eisele, Report of the Superintendent 
of the Hot Springs Reservation 1903 , p. 17; Martin A. Eisele, Report of 
the Superintendent of the Hot Springs Reservation , 1904 , pp. 329-330; 
and J. George Wright to Secretary of the Interior, June 20, 1903, 
Entry 1, Box 28, RG 79, NA. 

81 . Smith, Report of the Superintendent of the Hot Springs Reservation , 
p. 8. 

82. Major General R.W. O'Reilly (Ret.) to Secretary of the Interior, 
June 3, 1910, Entry 6, Box 322, RG 79, NA. 

83. Hot Springs National Park, Bathhouse Operations Manual , p. E-1; 
and Charles R. Trowbridge, Report of the Superintendent of the Hot 
Springs Reservation (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 
1914), pp. 23-24. 

84. Harry H. Meyers, Report of the Superintendent of the Hot Springs 
Reservation (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1912), p. 9; Reid Hunt and 
Edward Hunt to the Surgeon General of the United States, July 11, 1913, 
Entry 1, Box 333, RG 79, NA; and Department of the Interior, Annual 
Report of the Superintendent of National Parks to the Secretary of the 
Interior for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1916 (Washington, D.C.: 
GPO, 1916), p. 20. 

85. Department of the Interior, Report of the Director of the National 
Park Service to the Secretary of the Interior for the Fiscal Year Ended 
June 30, 1923 and the Travel Season , 1923 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 
1923), p. 74. 

86. Hot Springs National Park, Bathhouse Operations Manual , pp. E-1, 
E-2; and Libbey to Regional Director, Region Three, National Park 
Service, July 21, 1945, Entry 7, Box 1226, RG 79, NA. 



147 



87. Hot Springs National Park, Bathhouse Operations Manual , pp. E-1, 
E-2. 

88. Jones, "Hot Springs: Ante-Bellum Watering Place," 14:27; and 
"Going to Hot Springs," The Arkansas Gazette , 7 August 1872, p. 4. 

89. Van Cleef, The Hot Springs of Arkansas , 1878 , pp. 9, 11. 

90. George Latta to Secretary of the Interior, September 2, 1881, 
Entry 1, Box 6, RG 79, NA. Frank M. Thompson to Secretary of the 
Interior, September 12, 1889, Entry 1, Box 8, RG 79, NA; and Cron, 
"The Hot Springs of the Ouachita," p. 205. 

91. McKeogh to Field, September 1, 1885, Entry 1, Box 10, RG 79, NA; 
George Latta and Albert B. Gaines to Secretary of the Interior, 
March 17, 1890, Entry 1, Box 12, RG 79, NA; Alonzo W. Stone to John 
Q. Lynch, October 2, 1891, Entry 1, Box 14, RG 79, NA; A.G. Holland 
to John W. Noble, September 29, 1891, Entry 1, Box 14, RG 79, NA; 
Thomas H. Musick to Secretary of the Interior, December 26, 1891, 
Entry 1, Box 14, RG 79, NA; Bather to John W. Noble, June 7, 1891, 
Entry 1, Box 13, RG 79, NA; J.H. Gaunt to Secretary of the Interior, 
January 6, 1890, Entry 1, Box 12, RG 79, NA; and William A. White to 
Secretary of the Interior, June 29, 1905, Entry 1, Box 31, RG 79, NA. 

92. Musick to Secretary of the Interior, December 11, 1891, Entry 1, 
Box 14, RG 79, NA; James L. Barnes to John W. Noble, October 9, 1891, 
Entry 1, Box 14, RG 79, NA; Frank M. Thompson to Secretary of the 
Interior, February 7, 1892, Entry 1, Box 15, RG 79, NA; and Pastors of 
Hot Springs to John W. Noble, Secretary of the Interior, June 6, 1891, 
Entry 1, Box 13, RG 79, NA. 

93. Eisele to Secretary of the Interior, August 28, 1903, Entry 1, 
Box 28, RG 79, NA. 

94. Eisele to Secretary of the Interior, July 12, 1901, Entry 1, Box 26, 
RG 79, NA; Harry Meyers to Secretary of the Interior, September 21, 
1911, Entry 6, Box 340, RG 79, NA; W.B. Archer to Steven Mather, 
February 16, 1916, Entry 6, Box 336, RG 79, NA; William P. Parks to 
Director of National Park Service, February 19, 1920, Entry 6, Box 343, 
RG 79, NA; Thomas J. Allen, Jr., to Director of the National Park 
Service, September 8, 1932, Entry 6, Box 343, RG 79, NA; Charles Gable 
to Horace Albright, May 9, 1930, Entry 6, Box 336, RG 79, NA; and 
Thomas J. Allen, Jr., to Director of the National Park Service, 
December 10, 1938, Entry 7, Box 1227, RG 79, NA. 

95. Hogaboom to Henry M. Hallock, October 3, 1911, Rhodes Collection, 
Box 2, Buckstaff Bathhouse File. 

96. Cutter, Cutters Official Guide to Hot Springs , Arkansas , p. 29; 
"Strike: Maurice Bath Attendants Walked Out Sunday," Unidentified 
newspaper clipping, on file at Garland Country Historical Society and Hot 
Springs, Arkansas, Bathhouse File; and George E. Hogaboom, The 
Buckstaff Baths (n.p.:n.p., 1944), p. 1. 



148 



97. Director National Park Service to Secretary of the Interior, May 12, 
1947, Entry 7, Box 1226, RG 79, NA; Donald S. Libbey to Director of 
National Park Service, November 6, 1945, Entry 7, Box 1222, RG 79, NA; 
and Bolton to Emmert, April 29, 1944, Entry 7, Box 1222, RG 79, NA. 

98. H. Raymond Gregg to Director of the National Park Service, June 2, 
1960, Rhodes Collection, Background Data 1950-Present File, Box 4; Hot 
Springs Bath House Association to Superintendent Hot Springs National 
Park, September 25, 1952, Lamar Collection, Hot Springs National Park, 
Hot Springs, Arkansas; and Norsworthy, "Hot Springs, Arkansas," 
p. 92. 

99. Further discussion of the medical aspect of hot springs can be found 
in that section of this report. Also, women played a part in the criminal, 
social, and recreational activities that took place at Hot Springs, and that 
will be covered later in this report. 

100. H. Moscowitz to W.P. Wald, n.d., Entry 1, Box 6, RG 79, NA; 
"Balfour Hotel and Dining Room," The Hot Springs Visitor's Bulletin : 
Your Guide to Everything 13 (May 12, 1934): 1; "Knickerbocker Hotel and 
Dining Room," The Hot Springs Visitor's Bulletin : Your Guide to 
Everything 13 (May 12, 1934): 2; and "Miller's Hotel Dining Room," The 
Hot Springs Visitor's Bulletin : Your Guide to Everything 13 (May 12, 
1934): 3. 



149 



150 



CHAPTER 6: PROMOTIONAL AND ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES, 

DISASTERS, SOCIAL LIFE, AND RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES 

OF THE HOT SPRINGS SPA INDUSTRY 



TRANSPORTATION AND THE OPENING OF HOT SPRINGS TO THE WORLD 

The first visitors to Hot Springs came by river transportation and then 
by trail. In 1831 the United States Congress funded a route from St. 
Louis into the Arkansas Territory. A trail from Hot Springs connected 

with this road at Malvern. Within a few years, the trail was widened to 

1 
permit stagecoach traffic. 

This bone-jarring journey remained the quickest way for invalids to travel 
to Hot Springs until the opening of the narrow-gauge railroad in 1875 at 
a cost of $300,000. This event made access to the thermal waters much 
easier. Passengers changed trains at Malvern because the trains coming 
into that station all used standard-gauge tracks. The train made one 
stop on the 26-mile trip to Hot Springs, and there the passengers helped 
the crew load fuel. On October 17, 1889, work was completed that 
changed the track to standard gauge. In 1902 the 

Choctaw-Oklahoma-Gulf Railroad began construction of a railroad line from 
Benton, Arkansas, to Hot Springs. Through a series of railroad 
mergers, the Malvern to Hot Springs line became part of the 
Missouri-Pacific and the Benton to Hot Springs line became part of the 

Rock Island Railroad system. Passenger services continued into the 1950s 

2 
and then sporadically until all passenger operations ended in 1964. 

The decline of the railroad passenger service resulted from the popularity 
of the private automobile. Few people owned their own automobiles at the 
beginning of the 20th century, with only 140,300 cars registered in the 
United States in 1907. Ford Model T production began in 1908, and 19 
years later more than 22 million cars, mainly privately owned, traversed 
the country. Trains still carried large numbers of vacationers to Hot 
Springs from the 1920s until the 1940s, but the automobile changed 



151 



American vacation habits. People began spending less time in one location 
and traveling to more places. The long leisurely spa vacation became 
passe. Also, the bathhouses failed to accommodate the parking needs of 
the automobile. This all contributed to the decline of the Hot Springs 
spa industry. 



PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

The first promotional activity for the thermal spring waters came from 

those people who had visited the springs and found relief there for 

various ailments. This type of promotion, along with the report of 

exploration parties and articles in Little Rock's Arkansas Gazette , 

resulted in the hot springs being set aside for the benefit of all the 

people of the United States in 1832. By the 1860s promotional 

4 
publications extolled the medicinal virtues of the hot springs. 

In 1873 Charles Cutter came from New York City to Hot Springs to take 
the healing waters for a chronic sinus condition. Not only did he 
recover, but he moved his family to Hot Springs and began gathering 
material for a Guide to Hot Springs . Cutter published his first guide in 
1874 and continued to issue updated versions on an annual basis until 
1912 when he died. His son continued to publish the guide for the next 
few years. These guides promoted the virtues of the hot springs across 
the nation. 

In 1875 the T.B. Mills and Company, a real estate firm of Little Rock, 
Arkansas, sponsored a tour of Arkansas for nearly 100 newspaper 
correspondents. The real estate firm hoped this visit would stimulate 
interest in the state when the correspondents wrote of their experiences 
for their readers. The delegation gathered in St. Louis where a special 
train took them to various towns and communities in Arkansas including 
Hot Springs. At Hot Springs the reporters received a complimentary bath 
followed by a banquet and a ball held in their honor. They wrote 
articles ranging from praise to criticism, but no doubt encouraged some 
people to come to the resort. 



152 



Also, the railroad management vigorously promoted the resort community. 
In 1877 the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad published a 
promotional pamphlet entitled The Hot Springs of Arkansas , America's 
Baden-Baden and reissued it for the next several years. In 1878 St. 
Louis supporters of the railroad published a book entitled A Tour of St . 
Louis or The Inside Life of A Great City , which contained a chapter on 

o 

Hot Springs. The authors claimed that the people of Hot Springs were 
major purchasers of Saint Louis goods and services. In addition, they 

found a great number of Louisianians spent a portion of the year at Hot 

9 
Springs taking the baths. 

Not only the railroads but also the Hot Springs Commission in 1878 
glowingly praised the virtues of the thermal waters and the city. 
Resident doctors hired people to pass out circulars around the country 
that proclaimed that medicinal benefits of the thermal waters at Hot 
Springs for all diseases. By 1881 the St. Louis, Iron Mountain, & 
Southern Railroad claimed that Hot Springs compared favorably to the 

great European spas. Government agents echoed these sentiments as they 

10 
claimed Hot Springs equivalent to any European spa. 

The next two decades contained similar promotional activity. A new 
avenue for promoting Hot Springs opened with the planning of the World's 
Columbian Exposition in 1893 in Chicago, Illinois. In 1892 Superintendent 
Frank Thompson received a request to ship a sample of the thermal water 
to Chicago for people to drink and bathe in. Thompson believed that 
benefits from the thermal water came from the natural heat and that 
shipping the water to Chicago would result in loss of all medical value, 
and this objection ended the scheme. Arkansas World's Fair Association, 
however, pressed to have some of the thermal water for an exhibit at its 
fair. John D. Adams, president of the Arkansas World's Fair Association, 
believed that a fountain displaying Hot Springs water would encourage 
people from around the world to travel to Hot Springs for medical cures. 
He received permission for this exhibit, and a Mrs. P.H. Ellsworth 
designed a display fountain with concealed electric lights that played on 
the cascading waters and gave the exhibit a pleasing appearance. The 



153 



exhibit was installed in the 30-foot by 30-foot rotunda of the Arkansas 
building on the fairgrounds. The fountain was made of Hot Springs 
quartz crystals and could be viewed from either floor of the building. It 
served as a focal point for the six other Arkansas exhibit rooms and 
effectively promoted the spa image that Hot Springs town officials hoped 

to cultivate. Specially designed tank cars brought the thermal water from 

11 
Hot Springs to Chicago. 

Hot Springs promoters not only advocated the use of the waters, but 
wrote of the fresh mountain air and recreational activities in that city. 
Writers boasted that the altitude at Hot Springs kept it safe from the 
ravages of such diseases as malaria and other lowland plagues. This 

promotional effort suffered a setback when a smallpox outbreak occurred 

12 
in Hot Springs in 1895. 

After this setback promoters doubled their efforts to convince the public 
of the virtues of the Hot Springs waters. Superintendents of the Hot 
Springs Reservation lavished praise on the healing powers of the water. 
Superintendent Martin A. Eisele commented in his annual report for fiscal 
year 1903 that: 



This remarkable record [on the increased visitation to the 
reservation] must be taken as an endorsement and flattering 
testimony to the potency of the waters and their almost 
miraculous influence in the cure of the various diseases which 
afflict mankind. It is convincing proof that some mysterious 
agent is imparted to the water by the hand of the Deity for the 
relief of suffering humanity. The great problem that confronts 
the scientific world as to how best to overcome disease and pain 
and restore health and vigor is here solved by the wisdom of 
nature. The wisest philosophers and most learned and 
scientific men of our age bow in mute silence in the presence of 
these wonderful waters. It is Health, the spirit of all real 
happiness, who has pronounced her magic influence and 
proclaimed her sovereignty over the waters; they are God's 
special providence for the healing of the nations, the 
"Bethesda" or "Pool of Siloam" of modern times, and according 
to traditional lore are famed "Fountains of_ Youth" for which 
Ponce de Leon and DeSoto searched in vain. 



154 



Such praise from the reservation superintendent gave reason for 
promoters to claim that the United States government fully supported the 
bathing activities at Hot Springs. An exhibit by the Department of the 
Interior at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis contained 
a crystal grotto and cascades of hot water that represented the hot 
springs of Arkansas. Attendants at the exhibit distributed postcards 
showing the hot springs and the crystal grotto exhibit along with a 
government brochure describing Hot Springs. Also, 50 colored, 
stereopticon views of national parks, Hot Springs included, were shown in 

a darkened room at 2:00 p.m. daily. Government promotion of the hot 

14 
springs contributed to the increasing visitation. 

Meanwhile, railroads (such as the Rock Island system) continued to have 
pamphlets written that described the recreational and cultural life of the 
spa. These publications emphasized the mild climate and first-rate hotels 
available to the tourist and described with equal enthusiasm the social and 

medical aspects of the spa industry. These publications also provided 

15 
rudimentary guides to the city. 

By the beginning of the 20th century, the individual bathhouses produced 

pamphlets promoting their facilities. The Buckstaff Bathhouse, Fordyce 

Bathhouse, and Maurice Bathhouse each claimed to have superior facilities 

and to follow bathing traditions dating back to ancient Greece and Rome. 

William G. Maurice showed the most imaginative promotional scheme when 

he hired Elbert Hubbard to design the Roycroft Den and produce a small 

pamphlet entitled A Little Journey to the Maurice Baths , which praised 

the virtues of the thermal waters and the Maurice Bathhouse. In 

addition, each bathhouse carried a slogan on its letterhead that extolled 

1 g 
the virtues of that particular bathhouse. 

By the early 20th century promoters not only described the delightful 
mountain atmosphere, fashionable social life, and varied recreational 
activities at Hot Springs, but also claimed that the newly discovered 
radioactivity in the thermal water had helped effect the miraculous cures 
over the years. The outbreak of World War I in Europe led promoters to 



155 



encourage American tourists to stay home and take their baths at Hot 

Springs. These appeals seemed to work because more people came to take 

17 
the baths in Hot Springs. 



During and after World War I promotional literature emphasized the 
involvement of the United States government in the bathing industry. 
Typical of the prose for this type of literature is the following comment: 
"The United States government in 1832 realizing that in these wonderful 
thermal springs the Almighty had offered his greatest gift to humanity, 

by special act of congress set them aside as a sanitarium for all the 

1 8 
people for all time." 

By 1918 the National Park Service was promoting Hot Springs as being 
the first national park, continuing to publicize the area as both spa 
resort and natural park. This publicity campaign continued to the 
present, through newspaper, magazine, radio, and later television 
releases. Indirectly, the park was promoted through enthusiastic annual 
reports submitted by the superintendents of Hot Springs National Park. 
For example, in 1919 Superintendent William Parks wrote the following: 



Concluding, the report states that if there has heretofore 
existed to the slightest degree any pessimistic views as to the 
future of Hot Springs as the world's greatest health-pleasure 
resort, these must have been entirely dispelled during the past 
few years. Every year substantial gains in patronage is 
shown, and the improved local conditions, together with the 
system of exploiting all national parks with descriptive 
literature sent broadcast over the country, have materially 
increased the patronage. 



During the 1930s and later, individual bathhouses sought to cultivate 
customers by sending out such promotional material as Christmas 
greetings to clients. The names of individual bathers filled the pages of 
The Hot Springs' Visitors Bulletin , with a little personal background 
information as to their hometown and length of stay. A local newpaper 
published letters from those who had received relief from their suffering 
at Hot Springs. 



156 



Railroad companies continued to print promotional posters and pamphlets 
that encouraged people to visit Hot Springs for health and recreation. 
Special trains made regular runs to the community from various 
midwestern cities. The "Hot Springs Special" ran between St. Louis and 
Hot Springs, and the "Hot Springs Limited" traveled from Chicago to Hot 
Springs. 

In 1945 the Army Redistribution Center developed a 24-page booklet 
describing Bathhouse Row and other spots of interest around Hot 
Springs. Each returning veteran received a brochure upon arrival at the 
redistribution center. The Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce hoped that 

these brochures would encourage people from around the nation to visit 

22 
Hot Springs. 

After 1946 the bathhouses and the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce 
continued to promote Bathhouse Row, but even their most determined 
efforts could not stem the declining interest in spa vacations. By 1959 
bathhouse owners and managers began to realize that many of the 
townspeople had never taken a bath in their establishments. They hoped 
to bring local people into the bathhouses by creating a "Bath Week" once 
a year. The owners provided a special price and publicized to lure local 
people back to Bathhouse Row. Bathhouse owners also funded several 
studies to determine how best to revive the spa industry. Despite these 

efforts, attendance at the bathhouses continued to decline, resulting in 

23 
the closure of most of the bathhouses. 



ILLEGAL PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

The competition between doctors at Hot Springs for patients became so 
fierce that some physicians hired agents to pass out circulars to lure 
prospective patients into their offices. The practice of soliciting for 

patients resulted in a number of abuses. At Hot Springs, this particular 

24 
soliciting practice became known as "drumming." 



157 



The problem of drumming became so pervasive that bathhouse owners 
formed the Hot Springs Bathhouse Association in 1882, in part to combat 
this evil. Albert Gaines of the association wrote the following to 
Superintendent Frank Thompson: 



The [Hot Springs Bath House] Association was formed . . . 
with the sole object of putting a stop to, or at least, curtailing 
the evils flowing from a nefarious system of 'drumming', which 
was carried on by men with [out] decency or conscience, and 
who practiced every character of deception misrepresentation 
and fraud to secure their victims, who, when thus secured 
were then taken to a doctor [,] bath house, and drug^ store, 
and sold at each place like cattle for so much per head. 



The association required all profits from the participating bathhouses to 
be divided in an agreed-upon manner among all. It was hoped that this 
would discourage competition between bathhouses for customers and thus 
stop the employment of drummers. This organization only temporarily 
halted the drumming. 

Not only did these drummers work for bathhouses, but they acted as 

agents for doctors, drugstores, boardinghouses, and hotels. The agent 

would board a train and begin a conversation with a patient going to Hot 

Springs. When he found out the patient's doctor, he would say that that 

particular doctor was a drunk, had left town, or was incompetent. Once 

the patient was persuaded not to go to his legitimate doctor, the drummer 

would direct the patient to his "doctor." The drummers got up to 50 

percent of the doctor's fees. The same sales pitch, with slight variations 

and a more genteel manner, would be carried out for a particular 

pc. 
bathhouse, hotel, boardinghouse, or drugstore. 

Bathhouse owners and managers avoided paying the drummers by taking 
the agent's fee out of the wages of black attendants and mercury 
rubbers. This assessment usually amounted to one-third of their 
salaries. Superintendents of Hot Springs Reservation considered this a 
form of blackmail against the bathhouse attendants. In 1891 the 



158 



superintendent formulated the leases and agreements between the 

government and the bathhouses in such a manner as to forbid this 

27 
practice by bathhouse owners. 



By 1892 a number of measures against the drummers were enacted by 
various groups. The Garland County Medical Examining Board licensed 
physicians and held hearings on those accused of drumming practices. 
The Hot Springs City Council passed an ordinance requiring drummers for 
boardinghouses, bathhouses, drugstores, and doctors to obtain licenses 
for $25 every three months. The fine for violation was $25 a day. 
Doctors employing drummers had to place their names on file with the 
city. The Arkansas state legislature considered a bill, which did not 

pass, that required the revocation of a doctor's license if he employed 

28 
drummers. 

Despite these actions, the use of drummers by the bathhouses continued 
to increase. Drummers obtained bath tickets from the various bathhouses 
at a discounted price and sold them for whatever the market would pay. 
Various superintendents of Hot Springs Reservation issued a variety of 
rules to prevent the bathhouses from indulging in this practice. By 1897 
the Hot Springs Reservation rules and regulations prohibited drummers 
from loitering around the bathhouses, forbade selling bathhouse tickets 
other than through the bathhouse offices, and prohibited charging 

drummer's fees to attendants. The penalty for violation of these rules 

29 
included shutting off thermal water to that particular bathhouse. 

Despite all these measures, illegal promotion of the bathhouses continued. 
In 1897 and 1898 Superintendent Little wrote to the secretary of the 
interior concerning his frustration in stopping the practice of drumming. 
Little believed that drumming was a minor problem until the secretary of 
the interior ordered the dissolution of the Hot Springs Bathhouse 
Association in January 1898. The result was that most of the bathhouse 
owners began employing drummers to increase their business. 
Superintendent Little thought that most of the bathhouses operating on 
Bathhouse Row employed drummers, and he gathered sworn affidavits 



159 



against the Ozark, Magnesia, Palace, Lamar, Imperial, Maurice, Hale, 

30 
Rammelsberg, Horseshoe, Superior, and Rector to that effect. 



On April 18, 1899, the Hot Springs City Council passed an ordinance 
prohibiting drumming for bathhouses and doctors as a public nuisance. 
Violation of the law was punishable by a fine not to exceed $100. Still, 
drumming practices in Hot Springs flourished. In 1902 the businessmen 
of Hot Springs formed an association for the purpose of ending drumming. 
A major blow to drumming came in 1903 with the establishment of the 
Federal Registration Board, which consisted of five reputable physicians. 
A written examination was given to any physician wishing to prescribe 
hydrotherapy in Hot Springs. Those who passed the examination had 

their names placed on a list of approved physicians. Those failing the 

31 

examination were banned from prescribing hydrotherapy in Hot Springs. 

The newly created board certified 94 physicians and rejected 25. Those 
who were rejected took the matter to the courts, which ruled that only 
the secretary of the interior could make rules and regulations governing 
Hot Springs Reservation. The United States Congress acted quickly to 
pass legislation conferring the right of the medical commissioners to 
evaluate physicians at Hot Springs, and the secretary of the interior 
appointed a board of commissioners on October 31, 1904. By January 
1905 the board had released a list of registered physicians, and again the 
rejected physicians took the matter to the courts. This time the courts 

ruled in favor of the government. The board of commissioners proved an 

32 
effective weapon against nonqualified physicians. 

By November 1905 Hot Springs Reservation officials successfully 
prosecuted nonregistered physicians for violating the rules and 
regulations of the reservation. The drummers found a way to circumvent 
the new rules by encouraging victims to buy bath tickets before visiting 
a physician. In this way, the bathers could truthfully say that they 
were not under the care of any physician. Also, the drummers continued 
to board trains for Hot Springs to encourage visitors to go to specific 
hotels or boardinghouses. The vigilant efforts of the reservation 



160 



superintendent, the Garland County Medical Society, and the Visitors' 

Protection League, however, continued to reduce the number of drummers 

33 
operating around Hot Springs. 

On October 15, 1909, two officers of the government began boarding each 
train bound for Hot Springs to prevent the drummers from harassing 
passengers on their way to Hot Springs. The officers made the following 
announcement on the train: 



The public is notified that the waters of the hot springs are 
owned and controlled by the United States Government, and it 
is a violation of the law for any person to drum or solicit 
patronage on the trains in this State for hotels, 
boardinghouses, bathhouses, or doctors. No one will be 
permitted to bathe who stops at a hotel or boardinghouse which 
drums, or employs inside men to drum or solicit for doctors. 

The baths are open to everyone without a doctor; you are 
requested not to take the advice of any hotel man or inside man 
as to whether you should employ a doctor; but should you 
employ one be sure that he is one registered by the 
Government and permitted to prescribe the baths. If you treat 
with a nonregistered doctor or one not authorized to prescribe 
the baths, the baths will be denied to you; and if you bathe or 
attempt to bathe while treating with a nonregistered doctor, you 
lay yourself liable to a severe penalty. A list of registered 
physicians can be found in every bathhouse, posted on 
"bath-house row," and at the superintendent's office. 



By 1912 government representatives distributed leaflets containing the 
warning about drumming on the trains, a list of registered physicians, 
and a list of government-approved hotels and boardinghouses. Drumming 
continued to remain a problem, however, with a grand jury indicting more 
than 20 physicians, druggists, and hotel men on drumming charges in 

1916. This action struck a mortal blow against drumming. Drumming 

35 
continued for several more years, but in a greatly diminished form. 



161 



OTHER CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES 

A number of other illicit activities besides drumming have occurred over 
the years at Hot Springs. Reports of gambling at Hot Springs date back 
to 1849. By the 1860s visitors found games of faro, roulette, monte, and 
keno played in the saloons and hotels. Gambling houses operated openly 
during the next several decades, with professional gamblers waiting to 
remove cash from unsuspecting visitors. These gambling houses provided 
the scene for many violent acts during this time--knifings and shootings 
occurred on a regular basis. 

Gambling houses and bordellos were operating in Hot Springs by the last 
decade of the 19th century. The city placed fines on both of these 
operations, but this did little to hinder their operations. Promotional 

literature warned tourists not to indulge in games of chance in Hot 

37 
Springs because the games were rigged in favor of the house. 

In 1905 members of the clergy petitioned the government to take action 
against the various illegal activities in Hot Springs. They wrote the 
following : 



Whereas, there is in Hot Springs a state of moral degradation in 
the form of gambling, wide openness and general sporting, to 
the extent of twenty-seven regular gambling houses from which 
fines are regularly collected by the city authorities; six pool 
rooms, two race tracks; non-Sunday observance, and from 300 
to 1500 scarlet women and in consequence of which lawlessness 
and disregard for the name of our fair city, there is very little 
protection for the visitor against the ravages of such 
demoralizing influences. 



The reservation superintendent worked diligently to keep gambling from 
invading the grounds of the reservation, but could do little to stop the 
various illicit activities in the town of Hot Springs. 

Gambling in Hot Springs usually took place behind the doors of private 
clubs where visitors became members for a minimal fee. Several of the 



162 



clubs operated across the street from Bathhouse Row on Central Avenue. 
A series of robberies and gambling swindles became so obnoxious to city 
officials that city police conducted a series of raids on the gambling 

houses in 1913. This measure only temporarily halted gambling 

39 
activities. 

City officials fired all Hot Springs police officers in 1920 when revelations 
surfaced that the officers had permitted gambling, bookmaking, and 
pickpocketing activities. Similar charges in 1936 resulted in the 
indictment of several high-ranking police officials and Mayor Leo P. 
McLaughlin on charges of blackmailing the gambling operations for money 

and votes. The prosecutor failed to prove these allegations, however, 

40 
and McLaughlin remained in office. 

Returning World War II veterans, led by Sidney McMath, began a 
campaign in 1946 to clean up Hot Springs. This effort resulted in 
McLaughlin being brought to trial, although he was never convicted. 
After this crusade against crime ended, gambling remained in Hot 
Springs, but the slot machines, roulette wheels, and card tables were 
less openly displayed. Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Winthrop 
Rockefeller in 1963 challenged Arkansas Governor Orval E. Faubus to stop 
the open gambling in Hot Springs. In 1964 Governor Faubus ordered all 
illegal gambling operations in Hot Springs to stop. Shortly after the 
election of Faubus, gambling again flourished openly in Hot Springs. In 
1966, Rockefeller again ran for the governorship of Arkansas. Faubus 
chose not to run, and Rockefeller defeated the Democratic candidate Jim 
Johnson. The next year Rockefeller used the state police to launch a 
series of raids aimed at closing down the gambling operation in Hot 
Springs. These raids continued into 1969 and effectively ended open 

gambling in the spa resort. Efforts continue to legalize gambling other 

41 
than betting on horse racing, but with little success. 



163 



NATURAL AND MAN-MADE DISASTERS 

Hot Springs has faced a number of adversities over the years and has 
overcome all of them. During the 19th century city promoters claimed 
that Hot Springs was a very healthy spot, free from the fevers and 
diseases of lowland areas of the South. These claims remained 
unchallenged until a smallpox epidemic broke out in Hot Springs in April 
1895. The epidemic ended in May, after several deaths, leaving Hot 

Springs' reputation as a healthy town tarnished for the next several 

42 
years. 

Another recurring problem has been destruction caused by fires. The 
first major fire broke out on March 5, 1878. This fire started in a 
shanty in back of a restaurant in the early morning hours. The small 
volunteer fire department, which had been in existence for more than 10 
years, could not keep up with the fire as it ravaged through most of the 
small wooden-frame buildings of the downtown business district. City hall 
burned, along with most of the town's early records. The fire destroyed 
more than 150 buildings, including all of the structures on the east side 
of Hot Springs Creek south of the Hale Bathhouse. Saved was the 
luxurious Arlington Hotel. Hot Springs Commissioners on the scene 
believed that the fire damage exceeded $300,000 and left more than 1,500 
people homeless. 

The next great fire broke out early in the morning of February 26, 1905. 
The fire began in the Grand Central Hotel and destroyed more than 40 
city blocks. No damage occurred on Bathhouse Row, but more than 2,000 
citizens were left homeless. Devastating fires raged through Hot Springs 
in 1913 and 1914. These fires destroyed large sections of the town, but 
did not damage Bathhouse Row. On April 5, 1923, a fire swept through 

the Arlington Hotel, burning the structures. The rest of the buildings 

44 
on Bathhouse Row were not harmed. 

Besides disease and fire, Hot Springs has faced a series of natural 
disasters over the years. The most persistent of these has been the 



164 



recurrent flooding along Central Avenue. On September 1 , 1880, heavy 
rains began falling on the city at 11:00 p.m. The rains transformed 
Central Avenue into a river some 50 yards wide. The basements of the 
bathhouses suffered heavy damage from the waters. Ten years later, on 

September 22, 1890, a similar storm flooded Central Avenue to a depth of 

45 
3 feet and caused damaged to the basements of the bathhouses. 

The next major flood occurred in January 1907, with most damage 
confined to the mountain roads, trails, and Whittington Park. Three 
years later on June 23-24, 1910, a deluge flooded Central Avenue to a 
depth of 2 feet. This flood showed that the drainage provided by the 
creek arch was inadequate to handle these severe storms. On May 13, 
1923, rain began falling on Hot Springs. The rains continued into May 14 
and Central Avenue became a raging river. The floodwaters carried away 
more than 100 automobiles and broke through the display windows and 
into stores on Central Avenue. A fire broke out during the storm and 
destroyed one city block. The floodwater hampered fire-fighting efforts. 
Communications and utilities were shut down for some 18 hours. The 

floodwater ripped up portions of the asphalt street along Central Avenue, 

46 
and the total flood damage amounted to more than $2 million. 

The next major storm occurred early in the morning of February 15, 
1956. In five hours, 5\ inches of rain came down, again flooding Central 
Avenue and causing considerable damage to the stores. The bathhouse 
basements flooded and Superintendent Donald Libbey ordered the water 
supply to the bathhouses shut off for several days to prevent 

contamination of the thermal reservoirs. Since that incident, minor 

47 
flooding has occurred on Central Avenue periodically over the years. 



SOCIAL LIFE IN HOT SPRINGS 

The first social activities in Hot Springs were informal dances and 
gatherings among those coming to take the waters. By the 1830s bars 
provided the social life focus for visitors. Within the next decade billiard 



165 



parlors opened in Hot Springs. Holidays and personal days of 
celebration, such as weddings, provided the main social events during the 
antebellum period. These were occasions for barbecues and balls. In 
1856 a traveling theatrical group put on a performance in Hot Springs. 

Three years later a small theater was built and a stock company arrived 

48 
to put on shows for the season. The resumption of social life after the 

Civil War began slowly and steadily increased. Visitors began coming to 

Hot Springs all year around, with February and March being periods of 

heavy visitation. Originally, people came to Hot Springs in the warm 

months of May, June, July, and August because the lodging available was 

49 
suitable only for warm weather. 

In March 1881 the Woman's Christian National Library Association 
organized to establish a library and reading room for visitors to Hot 
Springs. A room in the Rector Bathhouse became the first Hot Springs 
library. The next year construction was completed on an opera house. 
This elegant facility served for operas and for a variety of theatrical 
performances, including plays, concerts, and lectures. On nights of a 
particularly special performance, the men dressed in tuxedos and the 

women wore formal gowns. Receptions were held to honor the theatrical 

f 50 

performers . 

During the late 19th century large and elegant hotels were constructed in 
Hot Springs. In 1882 the Avenue-Majestic Hotel opened, followed by the 
Eastman and Park hotels in 1890 and the rebuilt Arlington Hotel in 1893. 
These offered the amenities of first-class hotels and contained elaborate 

dining, dancing, and other facilities. Various other hotels and 

51 
boardinghouses served the needs of people of all means and social rank. 

Various sporting events took place in Hot Springs in the 19th and 20th 
centuries to entertain the various people of different social strata who 
came to Hot Springs. Baseball exhibition games, horse racing, boxing 
matches, and cock fighting provided entertainment for visitors. The 

hotels were targeted and various social groups and managers worked 

52 
diligently to attract conventions to Hot Springs. 



166 



Not only did hotel owners work toward attracting a specific clientele, but 
individual bathhouses did likewise. The Ozark Bathhouse managers, when 
asked to upgrade their facilities by the government in the early 20th 
century, responded with the following comment: 



The Department [of the Interior] must realize that the Ozark 
has for 30 years catered to the often spoken of cheaper class of 
people and it would be financial suicide for the house to open 
at a rate out of reach in proportion to the other advanced rates 
now existing to its old clientele. If the Department does not 
realize this point we respectfully ask thatj-Jt bear it in mind in 
any further decision relating to our rates. 



In 1920 the Fordyce and Buckstaff bathhouses tried to improve their 
social atmosphere by having musicians play concerts during bathing 
hours. Superintendent William Parks approved the request, adding that 
musicians had been employed by the bathhouses a number of years 
before, but the bathers had objected and the bathhouses had stopped this 
practice. National Park Service Director Stephen Mather also approved 
the request, with the stipulation that only quality music could be played. 
This meant no jazz would be allowed. He further required all music for a 
given week be approved in advance by the superintendent of Hot Springs 
Reservation. The music allowed consisted of light classical music and 
popular tunes. 

During the 1920s and 1930s the season of most visitation ran from January 
through April. The bathhouses sought to keep customers entertained by 
providing gymnasiums, writing rooms, and game rooms. Gradually, the 
bathhouses dropped these amenities to save costs as the bathing public 
declined after World War II. 



RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES 

The first recreation activities around the hot springs consisted of 
hunting, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding. These remained the 



167 



principal source of recreation until the 1870s when Ellis Woolman 
constructed an 80-foot wooden tower on Hot Springs Mountain. People 
hired a burro for the trip up to the tower. Superintendent Kelley had a 
carriage road up to the tower constructed in 1879. The top observation 
deck included a telescope (reached by a series of steps and platforms) 
from which people could see up to 30 miles away. In 1906, a 165-foot 
steel observation tower replaced the deteriorated wooden tower. This new 
tower included a small elevator, which people could take for a fee. It 

remained in operation until 1971 when it was found unsafe and was 

55 
removed. The current observation tower was erected in 1982. 

Thirty miles away from Hot Springs stood Crystal Mountain. People 
traveled here on horseback and gathered quartz crystals, agates, 
pyrites, and other stones. In 1877 an enterprising jeweler set up a 
lapidary shop there to work the rough stones into jewelry for the 
visitors. These rocks and others, including novaculite Indian artifacts, 
were brought to Hot Springs and sold to tourists. 

In 1884, to accommodate the demand for recreational facilities, 
Superintendent Hamblen extended 3>\ miles of drives on Hot Springs and 
North Mountain. The next year Superintendent Field recommended that 
trails and seats be constructed for visitors to enjoy the beauty of the 
mountains. In 1897 Superintendent Little had several horseback and 
carriage trails constructed because these activities proved to be popular 
pastimes for tourists. During the next several decades, reservation 

superintendents constructed a variety of trails and shelters for visitor 

57 
use. 

In 1883 Henry M. Rector asked Secretary of the Interior Henry Teller to 
approve construction of an inclined railroad on the Hot Springs 
Reservation as a tourist attraction. Teller did not approve the proposal. 
Five years later a bill granting the state of Arkansas and the West 
Mountain Inclined Railway and Improvement Company a right-of-way over 
West Mountain was introduced in the United States Senate. The Senate 
took no action on the legislation. The bill was reintroduced several other 



168 



times over the years. One of these proposals called for this railroad to 
take people to a casino to be constructed on top of West Mountain. The 
bill passed in 1893, with the provision for a casino changed to one calling 
for a hotel. The backers of this proposal failed to gain enough financial 
support to begin the project, and another bill in 1896 extended the time 
allowed to complete the railway and hotel for another three years. The 
supporters again failed to gain enough financial support and the project 
failed. 

To satisfy the demand for recreation, several amusement park areas 
opened in Hot Springs. By 1890 the Whittington Amusement Park and 
McLeod's Amusement Park (better known as "Happy Hollow") served the 
visitor public. The Whittington area contained a baseball park, bicycle 
track, bandstand, summer theater, and merry-go-round. During the 
spring and summer months, concerts and exhibition baseball games were 
played here. Nearby, Government Park contained tennis and croquet 
courts and later a playground. By 1940 Whittington Park also contained a 
dance pavilion, boxing arena, and roller-skating rink. The Cotton State 

League used the area for spring baseball training in the 1930s and 

59 
1940s. 

McLeod's Amusement Park featured a small zoo, shooting gallery, souvenir 
shop, and photographic studio. Norman McLeod operated this park until 
1908 when he sold his interest to Dave Anselberg. The photographic 
shop specialized in novelty photographs. Tourists posed with a number 
of props, including burros, painted flats, and bathtubs. McLeod made 

these photographs into postcard prints that visitors could send back home 

fiO 
to friends and relatives. This amusement complex operated until 1948. 

In addition to the amusement parks, the city boasted two unique 
attractions — an ostrich farm and an alligator farm. In 1900 Thomas A. 
Cockburn brought more than 300 ostriches to Hot Springs and kept them 
at a 27-acre farm on Whittington Avenue. Tourists came to see the 
ostriches. Cockburn laid out a small race track for the birds to race 
around, drawing racing sulkies. In addition, the birds pulled small 



169 



carriages in which women and youngsters rode. The ostrich farm 

fi1 
operated until 1953. In 1902, H.L. Campbell transported 50 alligators 

to Hot Springs and opened an alligator farm. He built pools to exhibit 

the alligators. Tourists purchased alligator handbags, suitcases, and 

teeth. He even sold baby alligators as pets. The alligator farm operates 

to the present. 



Besides the novelty diversions, visitors participated in a variety of other 
recreational activities. Samuel H. Stitt organized the Hot Springs Golf 
Club in 1897. Golf became a popular pastime for visitors and natives 
alike. The original golf course was nine holes; later several 18-hole 
courses were built around Hot Springs. Also bowling and archery became 

go 

popular participatory sports. 

For those interested in watching sporting activities, baseball, boxing, and 
wrestling matches occurred on a regular basis at Hot Springs. Horse 
racing, however, proved to be the most popular spectator sport. Horse 
racing at Hot Springs dates back to near the time of the Civil War. By 
the 1890s horse racing occurred from the end of January until the end of 
March. In 1904 William McGuigan opened a race track known as Essex 
Park. That same year construction work began on the Oaklawn track 
that opened in 1905. Various local groups have objected to betting at the 
race tracks and have succeeded in closing down the race tracks for short 

periods of time throughout the years. Today horse racing remains an 

64 
important recreational sport in Hot Springs. 

The completion of the Remmel Dam in 1924 created Lake Catherine, and 
the completion of the Carpenter Dam created Lake Hamilton in 1932. 
These new lakes increased interest in water sports such as boating and 
fishing in the Hot Springs area. These lakes provided areas for 
sight-seeing. In addition to the lakes, visitors traveled to Hell's Half 

Acre and various scenic mountain springs. Hell's Half Acre is an unusual 

65 
ground formation 4 miles from Hot Springs where no vegetation grows. 



170 



For visitors wishing to shop for unique gifts and bargains, Hot Springs 

has a pottery factory and a series of auction houses. Some of these 

auction houses operated from the early part of the 20th century. 

Auctions are held in the morning and evening. Visitors purchased a 

variety of merchandise of varying quality from these shops. Most of 

fifi 
these establishments operate across the street from Bathhouse Row. 

Over the years a broad spectrum of recreational activities have been 
available to visitors to Hot Springs. Each has played a role in the 
lifestyle of this spa. Recreational activities here have changed to reflect 
the interests of the American public. 



CELEBRITIES AT HOT SPRINGS 

Listing celebrities in the social, political, sports, entertainment, 
scientific, and intellectual spheres who have visited Hot Springs would 
prove an exhausting task. Instead a few examples should suffice to 
illustrate Hot Springs' broad appeal. One of the first celebrities known 
to have taken the baths (in 1833) was Sam Houston from Texas. After 
the Civil War, former Union (William Tecumseh Sherman) and Confederate 
(Pierre Gustave Tontant Beauregard) officers traveled to the spa. Major 
19th century political figures, such as William Jennings Bryan and James 
Gillespie Blaine, came to Hot Springs. Financier Jay Gould and 
industrialist Andrew Carnegie visited briefly in Hot Springs. Boxers 
John L. Sullivan and Jim Corbett came to train in Hot Springs, as did 

other athletes after them. Social reformer Jane Addams, writer Stephen 

fi7 
Crane, and outlaw Frank James visited the area. 

More celebrities traveled to Hot Springs in the early 20th century. 
Carrie Nation and Billy Sunday evangelized and preached social reform 
there. Theodore Roosevelt visited Hot Springs twice, first in 1904 and 
second in 1910 when he availed himself of a thermal bath. Another 
famous Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, visited Arkansas in 1936 and took a 
tour of the Fordyce Bathhouse. Prior to this trip, his wife, Eleanor 



171 



Roosevelt, journeyed to Hot Springs in 1928 for the formal notification 
ceremony of Joseph T. Robinson who had been selected by Alfred Smith 
as his Democratic vice presidential candidate. Also on hand was the 

CO 

nation's first woman governoi — Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming. 

In the 20th century Hot Springs proved attractive to prominent athletes. 
Boxers Jack Dempsey, Jess Willard, and Primo Camera used the baths as 
part of their overall training program. Baseball greats Denton "Cy" T. 
Young, George Herman "Babe" Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and Stan Musial were 
just a few of the baseball players who took the thermal baths before 
spring training. Many other athletic luminaries and major league teams, 

from such cities as Chicago, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Boston, came 

69 
to train and take the baths at Hot Springs. 

A number of entertainers came to Hot Springs to take the baths or 
perform there. Singer Kate Smith, actor George Raft, and comedian Ben 
Turpin came during the twenties and thirties. Later, television stars 
Dick Van Dyke, George Gobel, and Robert Guillaume, to name but a few, 
visited Hot Springs. Also the infamous--such as gansters Al Capone and 
Lucky Luciano—traveled to Hot Springs to enjoy the baths. This catalog 
of celebrities that visited Hot Springs gives some indication of the broad 
appeal that the thermal baths have had over the years. 



172 



Notes from Chapter 6 



1. For additional details on the development of transportation, see that 
section of the report which discusses the general development of the Hot 
Springs bathing industry. Brown, The American Spa , pp. 17-18; and 
Benson and Libbey, "History of Hot Springs National Park," p. 21. 

2. Ibid., pp. 21-22; Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs 
National Park , pp. 170-171; Norsworthy, "Hot Springs, Arkansas," p. 9; 
and Brown, The American Spa , p. 25. 

3. F. Eugene Melder, "The 'Tin Lizzie's 1 Golden Anniversary," in The 
American Culture : Approaches to the Study of the United States , ed. 
Hennig Cohen (Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1968), pp. 210-211. 

4. Norsworthy, "Hot Springs, Arkansas," p. 3. 

5. Brown, The American Spa , p. 75; and Scully, Hot Springs , 
Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , p. 58. 

6. Ibid., pp. 52-56. 

7. Ibid., p. 57. 

8. Buel and Dacus, A Tour of St. Louis , p. 351. 

9. Ibid. 

10. The Hot Springs of Arkansas : America's Baden-Baden , pp. 6-7. 

11. Thompson to Secretary of the Interior, July 9, 1892, Entry 1, 
Box 16, RG 79, NA; Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs 
National Park , p. 173; John Laughran to Hoke Smith, March 16, 1893, 
Entry 1, Box 15, RG 79, NA; Samuel W. Fordyce to Hoke Smith, May 31, 
1893, Entry 1, Box 15, RG 79, NA; Frank Thompson to Secretary of the 
Interior, March 29, 1893, Entry 1, Box 15, RG 79, NA; and Henry 
Davenport Northrop, The World's Fair as Seen in One Hundred Days 
(Chicago: The Standard Publishing Co., 1893), pp. 426-427. 

12. Business Men's League of Hot Springs, Arkansas, Hot Springs , 
Arkansas . Owned by the United States Government : The World's 
Greatest Sanitarium and All-Year-Round Health and Pleasure Resort , 
p. 4; and S. H. Stitt to Hoke Smith, January 23, 1896, Entry 1, Box 21, 
RG 79, NA. 

13. Martin A. Eisele, Report of the Superintendent of the Hot Springs 
Reservation 1903, p. 3. " 



173 



14. "Great Work," Hot Springs Daily News , 3 August 1904, p. 1. 

15. Paul Cushing, Hot Springs , Arkansas : An Impressionist Sketch by 
Paul Cushing (Chicago: ' Rock Island System, 1903), pp. 28-29, 40-45. 

16. Buckstaff Baths Hot Springs , Arkansas , 1912 (Indianapolis, Indiana: 
Catalog Service Corporation, 1912), p. 1; Come to Hot Springs -- 'The 
Nation's Health Resort' -- and Bathe at the Fordyce Baths! (Hot Springs, 
Arkansas: Fordyce Bathhouse, ca. 1915), pp. 13-16; The Maurice Baths 
(Memphis, Tennessee, S.C. Toof Co., n.d.), n.p.; and Elbert Hubbard 
A Little Journey to the Maurice Baths (East Aurora, New York: The 
Roycrofters, 1913), pp. 3-23. 

17. Born on June 19, 1869, Elbert Hubbard gained renown for his clever 
and satirical writings in the early part of the 20th century. He became a 
popular author, lecturer, and philosopher. Hubbard died in the sinking 
of the Lusitania on May 7, 1915. Reedy, pp. 6-11; "Chicago Physician on 
Hot Springs," Sentinel Record , 24 October 1914, Newspaper Transcript, 
Scully Collection, Thermal Water Files; and William R. Bathurst, "Why Not 
Try Our Home Spas?," The Journal of the Arkansas Medical Society , 9 
(November, 1914): 144-145. 

18. Business Men's League of Hot Springs, Hot Springs , Arkansas . The 
World's Greatest Health and Pleasure Resort , (Little Rock, Arkansas: 
Democrat P. and L. Co., ca. 1917), p. 3. 

19. William Parks, Report of the Superintendent of the Hot Springs 
Reservation for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30 , 1919 (Washington, D.C.: 
Government Printing Office, 1919), p. 4. 

20. Promotional Pamphlets, Hot Springs National Park, Hot Springs, 
Arkansas, Scully Collection, Spa Therapy File; "Who's Here and Where," 
The Hot Springs Visitor's Bulletin , 28 February 1942, p. 23; and "To the 
Visitors and Tourist to Hot Springs," The Hot Springs Visitor's Bulletin , 
23 December 1944, p. 30. 

21. Missouri Pacific Lines, Winter Travel Guide (n.p.:n.p., ca . 1930), 
pp. 64-65; and "Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas" Posters, ca. 1930, 
Entry 6, Box 331, RG 79, NA. 

22. "Army Publishes Booklet on Spa Returnees," Sentinel Record , 3 
March 1945, p. 3. 

23. "First Annual Bath Week" poster, Scully Collection, Spa Therapy 
File. 

24. Van Cleef, The Hot Springs of Arkansas , 1878 , p. 13; and Scully, 
Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , p. 130. 

25. Gaines to Thompson, August 24, 1889, Entry 1, Box 11, RG 79, NA. 



174 



26. Jelks, "Hot Springs of Arkansas and Their Therapeutical 
Indications," p. 518; Musick, Report on the Hot Springs Reservation , Hot 
Springs , Arkansas , p. 23. 

27. Thomas Musick to Secretary of the Interior, December 31, 1891, 
Entry 1, Box 15, RG 79, NA; J.H. Gaunt to John W. Noble, January 6, 
1890, Entry 1, Box 12, RG 79, NA: and Musick to Secretary of the 
Interior, December 11, 1891, Entry 1, Box 14, RG 79, NA. 

28. "That Drumming Case," The Hot Springs Medical Journal , 1 
(March 15, 1892): 60-61; and "Hot Springs Medical Matters," The Hot 
Springs Medical Journal , 1 (November 15, 1892): 231. 

29. William J. Little to Secretary of the Interior, August 25, 1894, 
Entry 1, Box 17, RG 79, NA; Little to Secretary of the Interior, 
December 14, 1894, Entry 1, Box 17, RG 79, NA; Little to Secretary of 
the Interior, March 7, 1894, Entry 1, Box 17, RG 79, NA; Little to 
Secretary of the Interior, February 8, 1894, Entry 1, Box 17, RG 79, 
NA; Little to Secretary of the Interior, August 13, 1894, Entry 1, 
Box 17, RG 79, NA; and Little to Secretary of the Interior, October 15, 
1894, Entry 1, Box 17, RG 79, NA. 

30. George H. Eastman to Secretary of the Interior, Entry 1, Box 21, 
RG 79, NA; and Little to Secretary of the Interior, April 22, 1898, 
Entry 1, Box 22, RG 79, NA. 

31. Martin A. Eisele to Secretary of the Interior, November 8, 1902, 
Entry 1, Box 27, RG 79, NA; J. George Wright to Secretary of the 
Interior, June 17, 1901, Entry 1, Box 26, RG 79, NA; Eisele to Secretary 
of the Interior, September 7, 1900, Entry 1, Box 25, RG 79, NA; Eisele 
to Secretary of the Interior, July 23, 1900, Entry 1, Box 25, RG 79, NA; 
Digest of City Ordinances , p. 147; and Wright to Secretary of the 
Interior, June 20, 1903, Entry 1, Box 28, RG 79, NA. 

32. Benson and Libbey, "History of Hot Springs National Park," 
pp. 27-31. 

33. Eisele to Secretary of the Interior, August 5, 1905, Entry 1, 
Box 31, RG 79, NA. 

34. Harry H. Meyers, Report on the Hot Springs Reservation , Hot 
Springs , Arkansas (Washington, D.C.: GPO), p. 7. 

35. Gary Mallows to Secretary of the Interior, February 7, 1912, 
Entry 6, Box 323, RG 79, NA; "Edict Follows the Hot Springs Probe," 
Arkansas Gazette , 22 December 1916, p. 2; "400 Persons May Be 
Implicated in Drumming Scandal," Arkansas Democrat , 2 October 1916, 
p. 1; and Cron, "The Hot Springs of the Ouachita," pp. 274-276. 

36. "Scenes in Arkansas," The Spirit of the Times , 20 October 1849, 
p. 415; Norsworthy, "Hot Springs, Arkansas," p. 115; Scully, Hot 
Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , p. 52; "Arkansaw's 



175 



Hot Springs," The New York Times , 13 January 1884, p. 4; "Arkansaw 

Young City," The New York Times , 20 January 1884, p. 4; "Police 

Court," The Daily Hot Springs Globe , 23 September 1890, p. 1; and 
Brown, The American Spa , pp. 50-54. 

37. "Utopia," The Hot Springs Medical Journal , 1 (December 15, 1892): 
252; Digest of City Ordinances , pp. 173, 174, 197, 206-208; and "'A Just 
Criticism'" The Hot Springs Medical Journal , 1 (October 15, 1892): 
212-213. 

38. Lewis Powell to Secretary of the Interior, July 3, 1905, Entry 1, 
Box 31, RG 79, NA. 

39. "The Business Men Make Their Demands," unidentified newspaper 
clipping, ca. 1906, Entry 1, Box 32, RG 79, NA; "War on Swindlers Stir 
Hot Springs," The New York Times , 19 January 1913, 2, p. 10; "Reform 
as It Is in Hot Springs," The New York Times , 15 January 1913, p. 12; 
"Gambler has Club Raided," The New York Times , 31 January 1913, p. 1; 
and Harrison Rhodes, "American Holidays: Springs and Mountains," 
Harper's Monthly Magazine , September 1914, p. 542. 

40. "All Hot Springs Policemen 'Fired'," Arkansas Gazette , 16 March 
1920, p. 3; Frederick L. Collins, "Hell in Hot Springs," unidentified 
magazine clipping, on file at Hot Springs, Arkansas and Garland County 
Historical Society, Gangster File; and "Inquiry Started into Conditions at 
Hot Springs," Arkansas Gazette , 15 January 1937, p. 1. 

41. Brown, The American Spa , op. 55-59; Collie Small, "The Town 
Without a Lid," Saturday Evening Post , July 20, 1946, pp. 22-23, 101; 
"Betting Ban Put City Out of Work," The New York Times , 8 November, 
1964, p. 79; "Hot Springs Blue After Final Fling, The New York Times , 
30 March 1964, p. 23; Wallace Turner, "Hot Springs Gambling Dead, a 
Victory for Clerics," The New York Times , 24 December 1964, p. 7; "Hot 
Springs is Told to Close its Casinos," The New York Times , 28 March 
1964, p. 1; "Hot Springs Casinos Operate Final Night," The New York 
Times , 29 March 1964, p. 32; "Sheriff Warns Private Clubs to Adhere to 
Law; One Arrest Made," The Sentinel Record , 15 January 1967, p. 3; 
and, "Arrested in Hot Springs Gaming Raids," Arkansas Gazette , 6 April 
1969, p. 8A. 

42. Willard B. Gatewood, Jr., "Arkansas Negroes in the 1890s: 
Documents," The Arkansas Historical Quarterly , 33 (Winter 1974), p. 319; 
Samuel H. Stitt to Hoke Smith, January 23, 1896, Entry 1, Box 32, 
RG 79, NA. 

43. Hempstead, A Pictorial History pp. 1,154; John Coburn to Secretary 
of the Interior, March 5, 1878, Entry 1, Box 3, RG 79, NA; "The Hot 
Springs Commission," The New York Times , 16 March 1878, p. 5; 
Benjamin F. Kelley to Carl Schurz, 15 November 1878, Entry 1, Box 3, 
RG 79, NA; and Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National 
Park , pp. 65-66. 



176 



44. Ibid., pp. 183-184, 194-195; "$6,000,000 Damage in Hot Springs 
Fire," The New York Times , 6 September 1913, p. 1; Benson and Libbey, 
"History of Hot Springs National Park," p. 41; and Cron, "The Hot 
Springs of the Ouachita," pp. 296-297. 

45. "Death in a Flood," The New York Times , 2 September 1880, p. 1; 
and "Last Night's Flood," The Daily Hot Springs Globe , 23 September 
1890, p. 1. 

46. W. Scott Smith, Report of the Superintendent of the Hot Springs 
Reservation 1908 , p. 3; Cron, "The Hot Springs of the Ouachita," 
pp. 294-295; Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National 
Park , p. 203; and "Hot Springs Loses $2,000,000 in Flood," The New 
York Times , 16 May 1923, p. 1. 

47. "Flood Leaves 1 Dead, Over $250,000 Damage," Hot Springs New 
Era , 15 February 1956, p. 1; "Hot Springs Rapidly Recovers From 
Destructive Flash Flood," The Sentinel-Record , 16 February 1956, p. 1; 
"Terrific Flash Flood Hits Hot Springs; Twisters Sweep Northern Half of 
State," Arkansas Democrat , 15 February 1956, p. 1; and "Hot Springs 
Flooded; Winds Crush Homes in Morrilton Vicinity," Arkansas Gazette , 16 
February 1956, p. 1. 

48. Jones, "Hot Springs: Ante-Bellum Watering Place," pp. 9-31; 
Brown, The American Spa , pp. 45-46; "Scenes in Arkansas," The Spirit 
of the Times , 20 October 1849, p. 415; and Scully, Hot Springs , 
Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , pp. 33-36. 

49. By 1878, blacks trapped centipedes and tarantulas to sell to visitors 
as souvenirs. Other entrepreneurs sold novaculite rocks to visitors with 
novaculite Indian artifacts selling particularly well to tourists. Van 
Cleef, The Hot Springs of Arkansas , 1878 , pp. 9, 19. 

50. Brown, The American Spa , pp. 46-47; and Scully, Hot Springs , 
Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , p. 152. 

51. Ibid., pp. 164-166. 

52. Brown, The American Spa , pp. 59, 93; and "Big Cock Fights," The 
Sentinel Record , 7 December 1901, p. 1. 

53. George Latta to William P. Parks, n.d., Entry 7, Box 1232, RG 79, 
NA. 

54. Parks to Mather, January 14, 1920, Entry 7, Box 1233, RG 79, NA; 
Mather to Parks, January 29, 1920, Entry 7, Box 1233, RG 79, NA; and 
George Hogaboom to Parks, March 15, 1921, Entry 7, Box 1233, RG 79, 
NA. 

55. Brown, The American Spa , p. 71; Kelley to Schurz, September 15, 
1880, Entry 1, Box 5, RG 79, NA; and Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas 
and Hot Springs National Park , p. 132. 



177 



56. The Hot Springs of Arkansas : America's Baden-Baden Illustrated : 
p. 7. 

57. For a more detailed account of the various trails and shelters 
constructed in the reservation area, see Rhodes, Historic Grounds and 
Structures . Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National 
Park , p. 114. 

58. Rector to Teller, October 6, 1883, Entry 1, Box 8, RG 79, NA; "A 
Bill Granting the Right of Way over West Mountain, in the Hot Springs 
Reservation in the State of Arkansas, to the West Mountain Inclined 
Railway and Improvement Company," March 26, 1888, Entry 1, Box 10, 
RG 79, NA; "A Bill Granting the Right of Way for the Construction of a 
Railroad and other Improvements," August 15, 1898, Entry 1, Box 10, 
RG 79, NA; and "An Act to Extend the Time for the Completion of the 
Inclined Railway on West Mountain, Hot Springs Reservation," 
February 15, 1896, Entry 1, Box 7, RG 79, NA. 

59. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
p. 176; Brown, The American Spa , p. 72; and Works Project 
Administration, Arkansas , p. 162. 

60. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
pp. 176-177; Brown, The American Spa , p. 70; and Philip Strong, "Hot 
Springs," Holiday 9 (January, 1951): 43. 

61. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , pp. 
389-390; and Brown, The American Spa , p. 72. 

62. Ibid.; and Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National 
Park , p. 384. 

63. Ibid., pp. 172-173. 

64. Ibid., pp. 178-179, 191-192, 377-379. 



05. Ibid., p. 365; " 
Bulletin: Your Guide 
Norsworthy, p. 39. 


Points of Interest," The 
to Everything, 13 (May 


Hot Springs Visitor's 
12, 1934): 4; and 


66. Marguerite Lyon, 
Bobbs-Merrill Company, 


Hurrah for Arkansas! 
1947), p. 245. 


(New York: The 



67. A more extensive list of the famous and near famous that visited Hot 
Springs can be found in Francis J. Scully's Hot Springs , Arkansas and 
Hot Springs National Park . Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot 
Springs National Park , pp. 390-395; Brown, pp. 90-94; Maurice Moore, 
"Historic Names Written in a Hot Springs Register," unidentified 
newspaper clipping, Visitor File, on file at Garland County Historical 
Society and Hot Springs, Arkansas; and "Arkansaw's Hot Springs," The 
New York Times , 13 January 1884, p. 4. 



178 



68. Maurice Moore, "Carry Nation Brought Her Hatchet to Spa In Early 
1900s But Kept 'Mission' Peaceful," unidentified newspaper clipping, 
Visitor File, on file at Garland County Historical Society and Hot Springs, 
Arkansas; William B. Gatewood, Jr., "Theodore Roosevelt and Arkansas, 
1901-1912," The Arkansas Historical Quarterly , 22 (Spring, 1973), 
pp. 15, 21; and Mary Hudgins, "Notification Rite Held in Spa," The 
Sentinel-Record 3 July 1976, p. 26-A. 

69. Brown, The American Spa , pp. 92-93; and Scully, Hot Springs , 
Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , pp. 393, 399. 

70. Brown, The American Spa , pp. 92-94. 



179 



180 



CHAPTER 7: SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION OF THE HOT SPRINGS 



Early explorers visiting the hot springs made observations that helped 

scientists understand these natural phenomena. The first attempt at 

scientific investigation, however, began when President Thomas Jefferson 

dispatched William Dunbar and George Hunter to report on the hot 

springs. These two made detailed geological and biological observations 

on the thermal pools during their expedition in 1804. They recorded the 

longitude and latitude of the springs and recorded the temperatures of 

each spring. Their findings were published in documents sent to 

1 
President Jefferson. 

The next observations of the springs came in 1806 when Lieutenant James 
B. Wilkerson from the Zebulon Pike expedition drew maps of the springs. 
In January 1818 Major Stephen H. Long visited the springs and described 
their number, temperature, and approximate discharge. Two years later 

members of Long's expedition to the Rocky Mountains stopped on their 

2 
way back east to make further observations. 

Besides attracting the attention of the American scientific community, the 

hot springs piqued the interest of European scientists. Thomas Nuttall, 

an English naturalist, wrote of the springs in May 1819. He made 

notations on the number and temperatures of the springs. Another 

Englishman, George W. Featherstonhaugh, arrived in Hot Springs in 

December 1834 to examine the springs. He described in detail the 

3 
geology of the area and the characteristics of the springs. 

In 1856 Professor E. Hillis Larkin made a quantitative analysis of the 

4 
thermal water. He found eight and one-half grains of minerals in a 

gallon of water. The analysis of a gallon of thermal water at a 

temperature of 145 degrees revealed the following: 



181 



Grains 



Silicic acid 

Sesquioxide oxide of iron 

Alumina 

Lime . 

Magnesia . 

Chlorine 

Carbonic acid 

Organic matter 

Water (sic) 

Sulfuric acid 

Potash 

Soda . 

Iodine and bromide, a trace 

Total 



24.74 
1.12 
5.15 

28.93 
.73 
.07 

21.36 
8.31 
1.72 
4.40 
1.46 
2.01 



100. 00^ 



In 1860 David Dale Owens published the result of his analysis of the 
thermal springs, which he worked on in 1859 and 1860. He found that 
the water contained magnesia, soda, potash, chlorine, sulfuric acid, 
organic matter, silica, silicates, carbonate of lime, carbonate of magnesia, 
alumina, and oxide of iron. Owens and his assistant made detailed 
listings of the hot springs, along with their temperatures and locations. 
In his conclusions, Owens postulated that the internal heat of the earth 
warmed the water for the springs. 

William Glasgow, Jr., conducted a careful survey of the springs and 
mapped them in 1860. He also recorded the temperatures and the 
overflow patterns of the springs. Glasgow calculated that total flow of 
the springs to be nearly one-half million gallons a day. 



Algernon S. Garnett undertook the next major scientific investigation of 
the hot springs in 1874. Garnett presented a general history of scientific 
investigation at Hot Springs in his publication, and then added his own 



observations 
the water. 



He devoted most of his discussion to the medical aspects of 



182 



In the summer and fall of 1876 J.L. Gebhart, a Hot Springs physician, 

examined the thermal water to determine its medicinal value. Gebhart 

found a slight electrical impulse in the thermal water. The rest of his 

9 
analysis yielded little new. 

In 1880 Superintendent Benjamin Kelley requested that funds be provided 
for a "competent scientist" to determine the medicinal value of the thermal 
waters. This request was repeated the next year in a report on the 

reservation at Hot Springs by special investigator Amos Hadley. The 

10 
secretary of the interior took no actions on these requests. 

John C. Branner published the results of his investigation of the 
geological formation around the hot springs in 1888. Branner believed 
that the hot springs gradually were drying up. He cited as evidence for 
this assertion the fact that he found evidence of extinct springs higher 
up on the slope of Hot Springs Mountain than the present active springs. 
The theory that Branner advanced was that as the internal heat supply 

diminished the springs gradually dried up, with the first ones to dry up 

11 
being the ones farthest away from the heat source. 

Branner, in an 1891 report, provided an analysis of the thermal water. 
The water of the hot springs contained small amounts of silica, sodium, 
potassium, magnesium, calcium, lithium, iron, aluminum, manganese, 
sulfuric acid, carbonic acid, bromide, iodine, chlorine, and phosphoric 
acid. The report found the waters very pure. He disputed the early 

speculation by Gebhart that the water contained any signs of 

12 
electricity. 

Branner's report again stirred the demands for an official government 
analysis of the thermal water. The secretary of the interior in 1899 
requested that the Department of Agriculture undertake a chemical 
analysis of the thermal water. In 1901 J.K. Haywood of the Bureau of 
Chemistry receive the assignment. He published his findings the next 
year, along with the geological investigation of Walter Harvey Weed. 
Haywood examined 44 hot springs and two cold springs on the 



183 



reservation. The chemical analysis revealed the following elements and 
compounds: oxygen, albuminoid ammonia, lithium, ammonia, sodium, 
potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, aluminum, manganese, arsenic, 
iodine, bromine, chlorine, boric acid, phosphoric acid, nitric acid, 

nitrous acid, sulfuric acid, silicic acid, carbonic acid, bicarbonic acid, 

13 
nitrogen, and hydrogen sulfide. 

Dr. Betram B. Boltwood of Yale University made a new discovery in 1904. 
Boltwood received authorization from the secretary of the interior to 
examine the hot springs for any indications of radioactivity. He found 
the thermal waters to be radioactive and believed the radioactivity came 
from radon gas. Hot Springs newspapers claimed that the radioactivity 
was the miraculous element in the thermal water that had cured so many 
people. 

The next scientific controversy came about in 1910 when A.H. Purdue 
published a paper on the origin of the water for the hot springs. 
Purdue hypothesized that water of meteoric origins passed down through 
the earth until heated by an uncooled mass of igneous rock and then rose 
to create the hot springs. Another, less accepted hypothesis advanced 
was that the spring water was of juvenile origin, meaning that it 
originated underground. Purdue rejected this argument. Later geological 

investigation by Waldemar Lindgren in 1919 and Kirk Bryan in 1922 

15 
supported Purdue's findings. 

The question of the exact amount of radioactivity in the Hot Springs 
water continued to be raised. The American Medical Association, in an 
editorial, requested that the United States government further investigate 
the matter. Herman Schlundt, a professor of chemistry at the University 
of Missouri, conducted an examination for radioactivity at the hot springs 
in 1932. The testing conducted over several days time found the 
radioactivity of the springs to range from 0.11 to 3.31 millimicrocuries per 
liter. R.H. Arnt and P.E. Damon, using more precise instruments, 
studied the waters for radioactivity in 1952. In addition, the waters were 
studied for radioactivity in 1953 by Dr. P.K. Kuroda. Kimio Noguchi of 



184 



Japan tested the radioactivity of the water in 1961. These tests proved 
that the thermal springs contained some radioactivity. The exact 
relationship between the radioactivity and the cures obtained at Hot 
Springs remains unknown and unproven. 

A USGS study in the early 1970s applied techniques not previously used 
to get data to be able to more effectively manage this resource. As a 
result, land in the recharge area was acquired. With other lands, the 
park size increased to four times what it had been early in the decade. 

Scientific investigation on the origin of the hot springs and the value of 
the radioactivity in medical treatment continues, with new theories being 
advanced as new discoveries are made and more sophisticated equipment is 
available. The full understanding of the complex natural processes that 
formed and maintain the hot springs will be of scientific interest for years 
to come. 



185 



Notes from Chapter 7 



1. McDermott, The Western Journals , pp. 11, 102-103; and Bryan, "The 
Hot Water Supply of the Hot Springs of Arkansas," p. 438. 

2. Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National Park , 
p. 32; Athearn, High Country Empire , 17-18; and Brown, The American 
Spa , p. 12. 

3. Nuttall, A Journal of Travels into Arkansas During the Year 1819 , 
pp. 124-125; and Featherstonhaugh , Featherstonhaughs Excursion 
Through the Slave States , p. 106. 

4. The date of 1856 is disputed by Scully who places the date of the 
analysis in 1859. Frank M. Thompson, Report of the Superintendent , 
1890 , p. 9. 

5. Ibid. 

6. Owens, Second Report of a Geological Reconnaissance of the Middle 
and Southern Counties of Arkansas , pp. 19-23, 102-103, 292-293. 

7. United States Geological Survey, The Waters of Hot Springs National 
Park , Arkansas — Their Nature and Origin (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 
1979), p. C7; J.K. Haywood, p. 92. 

8. Garnett, A Treatise on the Hot Springs of Arkansas , pp. 24-25. 

9. J.L. Gebhart, On the Therapy of the Waters of Hot Springs , 
Arkansas , and Their Relation to the Medical Profession at Large (St. 
Louis: n.p., 1881), pp. 3-5. 

10. Kelley to Schurz, September 15, 1880, Entry 1, Box 5, RG 79, NA; 
and Amos Hadley to Schurz, January 27, 1881, Entry 1, Box 6, RG 79, 
NA. 

11. John C. Branner, Annual Report of the Geological Survey of 
Arkansas for 1888 (Little Rock, Arkansas: Press Printing Co., 1888), 
pp. 48-50. 

12. Ibid., pp. 10-11. 

13. Haywood, The Hot Springs of Arkansas , pp. 9, 12. 

14. Cron, "The Hot Springs of the Ouachita," p. 353; "Evidence of 
Radium," unidentified newspaper clipping, Entry 1, Box 79, RG 79, NA; 
and Eisele to Acher, April 14, 1904, Entry 1, Box 29, RG 79, NA. 

15. Bryan, "The Hot Water Supply of the Hot Springs, Arkansas," 
p. 440. 



186 



16. "The Government And Radium," Journal of the American Medical 
Association , 61 (September 20, 1913): 369; Scully, Hot Springs , Arkansas 
and Hot Springs National Park , pp. 116-117; and United States Geological 
Survey, pp. C25-C26. 



187 



188 



CHAPTER 8: THE BATHHOUSES 



Bathhouse Row consists of an impressive array of structures. 
Individually and collectively, the bathhouses provide the greatest 
architectural contribution to downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas. 

Framed by the Army and Navy Hospital on the south and the Arlington 
Hotel on the north, Bathhouse Row creates the city's architectural 
identity. This stylistically diverse group of structures possesses an 
architectural unity brought about by careful site design. The 
government-required setback, the green spaces in front of each 
bathhouse, the Magnolia Promenade, and the Grand Promenade provide the 
key unifying links between the buildings. Those unifying links only 
serve to accentuate the architectural differences between the bathhouses. 

The individual character of the bathhouses did not fully develop until the 

1890s. The dissolution of the "Pool" began the serious competition among 

bathhouse owners to woo bathers. The owners realized that unique 

architectural features helped to promote an individual bathhouse's image. 

An owner could use that image as a marketing tool to increase business. 

This competition, most evident during the final phase of Bathhouse Row's 

construction, began in earnest with the erection of the Hale in 1892-93. 

Sometimes the effects of this competition on architecture appeared in 

correspondence. Most often bathhouse owners silently challenged each 

other by adding improvements and amenities to their own structures 

without directly referencing any competition. The rivalry seems to have 

been tougher among the more expensive bathhouses--the Fordyce, 

1 
Maurice, and Buckstaff. The following summary includes information on 

structure, design, competition, and the more important changes to the 

bathhouses over time. 

Constructed in 1892-93, the Hale Bathhouse replaced an earlier structure 
of that name on the same site. Iron and steel reinforced the brick and 
concrete structure. When first constructed the Hale had an enormous 



189 



central cupola and possessed a flamboyant Victorian air similar in feeling 
to the other 19th century bathhouses along the row. That exotic 
character soon changed. 

Designed in 1912 by Little Rock architect Frank W. Gibb, the Buckstaff 
Bathhouse's (fig. 29) Neoclassical Revival style radically departed from 
the fanciful structures that preceded it. Superintendent Harry Meyers 
wrote to the chief clerk of the Department of the Interior that the 
Buckstaff resembled 



the Irish House of Parliament or the White House, or the 
Treasury Building, or some such magnificent structure; and 
from it you will also observe that within a very few years the 
form of the Hot Springs Reservation will be about the 
handsomest block of buildings in this, or any other country. 
It looks now to me very much like this house is going to have 
our friend, Billie Maurice, completely "skinned off the board." 



The Buckstaff's staid appearance came from its architectural formality. 
The cream-colored brick of the exterior walls, the white stucco finishes of 
the spandrels, friezes, cornices, and parapets and the finely polished 
brass details gave the building a solid, formal presence that remained 
unique on Bathhouse Row. 

William G. Maurice opened his new Maurice Bathhouse, designed by 
George Gleim, the same year. The building's exterior possessed a less 
stylized quality than the Buckstaff. Instead, its vague transition style 
had ties to Mediterranean architecture—a trait common in the work of 
California architects of the time. The architecture had fair quality, but 
lacked the imposing presence the Buckstaff commanded. The Maurice had 
a white stucco exterior. The symmetrical front elevation had wings to the 
north and south. 

By 1914 the Hale needed major structural work. The owners chose 
George Mann and Eugene John Stern as the architects for the change. 
Basically, they gutted the building and rebuilt portions of the walls. 



190 



They removed the enormous cupola and changed the roofline to a simpler, 
flat roof. The overall design (fig. 30) followed the formal neoclassical 
revival lines set down so solidly in the Buckstaff. Mann and Stern also 
redesigned and updated the interior and constructed cooling tanks 
adjacent to the building. 

In 1915 Mann and Stern also completed the plans for the Fordyce 
Bathhouse (fig. 31). This Renaissance Revival structure contained 
strong Spanish and Italianate elements. A handsome marquee of copper 
and stained glass sheltered the entrance. The building's interior spaces 
were quite elegant. The men's bath hall had an enormous skylight with 
art glass panels in an aquatic motif and a fountain with Soto receiving 
water from an Indian girl below (fig. 32). The third-floor assembly room 
had a vaulted, stained-glass ceiling and arched window openings. 

Not to be outdone, Maurice hired Mann and Stern in 1915 to do a major 
overhaul of the Maurice. They added a sun parlor to the front of the 
building on the first floor between the north and south wings. The 
original "Solartarium" became the Roycroft Den and featured dark wood 
paneling, a cobblestone fireplace flanked by built-in benches, carved 
mascarons as brackets below the box beams of the ceiling, and 
arts-and-crafts furnishings constructed in the Roycrofters' workshops 
(fig. 33). Undoubtedly the handsome appointments of the Fordyce had 
lured some patrons away from the Maurice, so Billie Maurice felt compelled 
to provide updated amenities. 

The new Superior opened in 1916 (fig. 34). Harry C. Schwebke of 
Claremore, Oklahoma, completed the design. Compared to the Buckstaff 
or Fordyce, the Superior lacked an outstanding architectural character. 
Yet in a businesslike fashion it fulfilled its duties on Bathhouse Row. 
The basically commercial building contained some details of classical 
origin. Those principal architectural details—most of which appeared on 
the front elevation — included a three-bay division separated by brick 
pilasters and decorated with concrete painted in imitation or ornamental 
tile. 



191 



Green tile medallions sat centered over the pilasters in the friezes below 
the first- and second-story cornices. On the interior, marble walls, tile 
floors, and brass hardware added a feeling of higher style to the 
building. 

In 1921 Mann and Stern became involved with designing some interior 
changes for the Buckstaff. That same year they worked on plans for the 
Maurice again, modifying the roof, installing storage and cooling tanks, 
and making additional interior changes. 

Mann and Stern continued their role in the design of Hot Springs. Even 
though their master plan for the reservation would never be implemented, 
they, more than any other architectural firm, gave Bathhouse Row its 
sense of place. They designed the new Government Free Bathhouse 
(1922) that was constructed off Bathhouse Row (fig. 35). For it they 
chose a Greek Revival style, always suitable for federal structures. 
Mann and Stern also designed the Quapaw and the Ozark bathhouses, 
which were also on Bathhouse Row in 1922 and were considerably freer. 

Just about all the Ozark's architectural significance rested in its Spanish 
Colonial Revival facade (fig. 36). The impressive front elevation had 
twin towers with three-tiered setbacks flanking the main entrance. The 
windows of the north and south pavilions had decorative cartouches above 
themselves, as well as a series of rectangular setbacks that evoked a 
vaguely Art Deco feeling. The sloped roofs over the porch (a later 
addition) and the hipped roofs of the towers were covered with red clay 
tile. The tower roofs were topped with finials. 

The Quapaw (fig. 37), on the other hand, not only had a handsome 
facade and a beautifully constructed dome, but also a groin-vaulted sun 
porch and, of course, the Quapaw spring in its basement. Stucco 
finished the exterior of this masonry and reinforced-concrete structure. 
The central dome, this building's most impressive exterior feature, had a 
covering of brilliantly colored tiles. A small metal cupola finished the 
dome. On the front elevation a central pavilion that formed the entrance 



192 



interrupted the series of arched openings. Two smaller arches flanked 
the entrance doorway. Directly above the entrance rested a cartouche 
with a carved Indian head set into the decorative, double-curved parapet. 
The parapets at the north and south ends of the building were capped 
with scalloped shells that framed spiny sculpin fish. The shell and the 
fish emphasized the aquatic aspect of the building, and the Indian head 
stressed the prehistoric use of the waters. After all, this bathhouse had 
its own legend--the "Legend of the Quapaw Baths"--which claimed that 
the Indians had discovered the magical healing powers of the cave and 
spring incorporated into the building's basement. The scallop shell was a 
common architectural element found in Spanish Colonial Revival buildings. 
Originally, the symbol represented Santiago de Campostela, patron saint 
of Spain. The shell evolved into a mere decorative element in secular 
revival buildings such as this. 

Mann and Stern designed two identical comfort stations that were 
constructed by the National Park Service north and south of the Quapaw. 
The facades were simple yet elegant. A central arched opening led into a 
small, open vestibule that provided access into the one-room structures. 
Exterior walls were white stucco, and the roofs were tiled to provide a 
good architectural relation with the Spanish Colonial Quapaw. 

The Lamar was the last bathhouse to be completed, finished in 1923. The 
design by Harry Schwebke, who also did the Superior, was again not 
particularly distinctive. The Lamar was a clean-lined commercial building 
not totally devoid of the elements left over from various classical revivals 
(symmetry, cornices, and vague pediments articulating the front 
entrance) . 

In the late 1930s the architectural firm of Thompson, Sanders, and 
Ginocchio was hired to redesign the Hale Bathhouse. The Neoclassical 
feeling that Mann and Stern had given the building disappeared and was 
replaced by a Mission Revival feeling. The hip roof was covered with red 
tile. The classical segmental arch of the main entrance became a simpler 
Spanish bell gable. The brick received a stucco finish and the windows 



193 



flanking the entrance were adorned with wrought-iron grilles. The entire 
effect became very "Californian" in feeling. The architects may have 
been following suit behind Charles Peterson's new administration building 
at the south end of the row, or perhaps they were encouraged to provide 
a greater architectural link between the Hale and the other bathhouses 
like the Quapaw and the Ozark. Whatever the reason, removing the 
classical feelings from the Hale made the Buckstaff's classicism that much 
more noticeable. The Buckstaff's only highly stylized ally was the 
Thompson block—another classical temple with a glossy white, terra-cotta 
facade on the opposite side of Central Avenue--the work of Mann and 
Stern (fig. 38). 

Through the years the bathhouses underwent hundreds of changes, but 
the architectural character of the Bathhouse Row of the late 1930s 
remained. Most of the changes were relatively minor, and completed on 
the buildings' interiors. The numbers of tubs varied. Sometimes a major 
advance in hydrotherapy, such as the use of the Hubbard tub, spawned 
interior changes that went far beyond cosmetics. The basic face of 
Bathhouse Row, however, was completed when the Hale withstood its 
transformation to Mission Revival. The removal of the cooling towers in 
the late 1950s only enhanced the row's architectural character. 

Bathhouse Row's architectural character resulted from many factors. 
Geologic forces formed the hot springs, mountains, and small gorge that 
became Hot Springs' Central Avenue. Little remained from the springs' 
early centuries other than a pattern of use and a pattern of settlement. 
Development during the 19th century took on a more tangible shape. Lt. 
Robert Stevens' contributions to Bathhouse Row were perhaps the most 
noteworthy of that era. His Grand Central Entrance, for example, 
provided an architectural focal point along Bathhouse Row. In the 20th 
century, Mann and Stern first visualized Bathhouse Row as a series of 
primarily Neoclassical buildings like the Hale, although their Fordyce and 
Maurice designs fit into the pattern. When the department could not 
implement their grand scheme, Mann and Stern let their architectural 
ideas evolve. Especially after World War I, Bathhouse Row provided a 



194 



fertile testing ground for the influx of "new" styles and more progressive 
architectural thinking. Although Mann and Stern could not help but 
revert to Greek Revival in the federal bathhouse, they allowed whimsy to 
assist them with the Ozark and Quapaw designs. 

The construction of Charles Peterson's administration building and the 
"missionization" of the Hale Bathhouse in the late 1930s finalized 
Bathhouse Row's architectural character. The new administration building 
and the majority of bathhouses possessed architecture derived from 
Spanish influences (Spanish Colonial Revival, Mission Revival, 
Spanish/ltalianate Renaissance Revival). These buildings sat in a 
landscape pervaded by ordei — a physical order first brought about by the 
Department of the Interior in the 19th century and handsomely polished 
and perfected by the National Park Service's Branch of Plans and Design. 
This unique combination of geology, politics, and people built Bathhouse 
Row. 



195 



Notes From Chapter 8 



1. To get a sense of bathhouse competition, Ms. Harrison reviewed 
considerable correspondence during the course of research; she found 
very little specific information on competition. Next, she constructed a 
chronological history of all the bathhouses using primary sources and 
reliable secondary sources such as Diane Rhodes' Historic Grounds and 
Structures : An Interim Report on Bathhouse Row . Promotional 
literature, such as the Cutter's Official Guide and that put out by the 
Missouri Pacific Railroad, tended to include the information the bathhouse 
owners wanted to mention. Her conclusion is that most of the documented 
competition was done through verbal drumming. 

2. Superintendent Harry Myers to Clement Ucker, Chief Clerk, 
Department of the Interior, July 18, 1911, from Box 2, Buckstaff File, 
Rhodes Collection. 



196 



CHAPTER 9: THE DESIGNERS 



A number of highly talented architects and landscape architects 

contributed to the design of Bathhouse Row. Included here is a summary 

1 
of the information uncovered. 



MANN AND STERN 

The architectural firm of Mann and Stern was in business in Little Rock 

2 
from about 1913 until about 1925. The more powerful personality of the 

firm seems to have been George R. Mann, who was known for years as 

3 
the "dean of Arkansas architects." Mann was born July 22, 1856 in 

Syracuse, Indiana. His father was a Virginia "planter, a fox hunting 

squire who later in life met financial reverses through promiscuous 

4 
endorsements." Mann's uncle encouraged him to be an architect. 

Eventually Mann moved on to Indianapolis and worked in the offices of 

architect W.H. Brown. Instead of having him work on simple drafting 

projects, Brown recognized Mann's talent and allowed him to do 

construction drawings. Mann then went on to the Institute of Technology 

in Boston (later Massachusetts Institute of Technology) where he was 

allowed to skip the first two years of general courses by passing an 

exam. He graduated in 1876. 

Mann moved to New York and for a very short time worked for McKim, 
Meade, and White, the most prominent architectural firm in the United 
States at the time. Mann then returned to Goshen, Indiana, and 
designed a handful of residences. Then, at age 21, Mann set up an 
architectural firm in Minneapolis with Edward Stebbins, a former 
classmate. Business in Minneapolis was slow, so Mann decided to leave. 
He signed on with a traveling opera troupe as a member of the chorus 
and tried to get architectural work in every town where the troupe 
stopped. Mann finally landed a job with A.B. Cross, the leading 
architect in Kansas City, Missouri. Dissatisfied with that position, he got 
a job as a draftsman in St. Joseph, Missouri. 



197 



St. Joseph's wealth was based on its wholesale industries, and Mann 
designed several warehouses there. A year after he started he ended up 
as head of the architectural firm that had hired him as a draftsman. He 
designed the Paxson Hotel in Omaha, the courthouse at Council Bluffs, 
courthouses in Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and branches of his wholesale 
houses in Kansas City, Omaha, Pueblo, and Fort Worth. He also 
designed the Haverly Opera House, later known as the Columbia Theatre, 
in Chicago and the Union Depot in Hannibal, Missouri. While he worked 
designing commercial buildings, he also entered many architectural 
competitions, winning several and placing in many more. He entered and 
won the competition for designing the St. Louis city hall. 

Then he was appointed resident architect of the St. Joseph, Missouri, 
post office, overseeing the construction of the building that was designed 
in the office of the supervising architect of the Treasury, the highest 
public architectural office in the nation. He warned the Treasury 
Department that the local soils could not handle the weight of the dome 
they proposed, but his warnings went unheeded. Eventually Mann ended 
up rebuilding the structure on a foundation more suitable to the local 
soils. He was then offered the job of supervising architect of the 
Treasury. He declined the position, despite the prestige, because he felt 
the salary was too low for the high cost of living in Washington. 

Mann moved to St. Louis and designed a number of buildings there—the 
Matin Dry Goods building, the Gateways at Washington Terrace, and St. 
Vincent's Asylum. Then he won the competitions for the Carnegie 
Library and the Philadelphia Bourse. 

In the competition for the Minnesota state capitol, Mann's design was 
judged equal with architect Cass Gilbert's design. Gilbert ended up 
winning the competition, perhaps, Mann believed, because of his 
connection with James J. Hill, the owner of the Great Northern Railroad 
for whom Gilbert had designed a residence. Mann returned to St. Joseph 
and designed the exchange building for Swift Meat Packing Company of 
Chicago. 



198 



In 1900 Mann took some plans he had drawn up for a new state capitol to 
the governor of Arkansas. He realized that the state had no money for 
such a venture but pursued it by hanging the plans in the old capitol 
building, hoping to influence the legislature. He was successful, and 
eventually they funded his building. 

Mann designed a number of structures in Little Rock--the Southern Trust 
building, the Marion Hotel, the Bank of Commerce, the State Bank 
building, the Gus Blass store, and many residences. He also designed a 
high school in Pine Bluff, the Pulaski County courthouse, and commercial 
buildings in Shreveport and Alexandria, Louisiana. 

During the time he was associated with Eugene John Stern, they designed 
the Beaumont Hotel in Beaumont, Texas, the Thompson Building in Hot 
Springs, and the Fordyce and Hale Bathhouses. They also, in Mann's 



words, "laid out a scheme of beautification for Hot Springs, the plans for 
which were being generally followed." 
Ozark, and Government Free bathhouses 



which were being generally followed." Then they designed the Quapaw, 



When the firm dissolved about the middle of the 1920s, Mann formed a 
partnership with Harry Wanger and Milton King. They designed the 
Masonic Temple in Fort Smith, North Little Rock High School, and a 
number of commercial and residential structures. 



Eugene John Stern was born in Austria-Hungary in 1884. He completed a 
full course in architecture at the Mechanics Institute in New York City 
from 1900 to 1904 and attended the Beaux Arts Ateliers in New York the 
following year. He also took a course in architectural rendering from 
Columbia University. During 1907 he was the principal architect in the 
architectural firm of Stern and Morris in New York, and from 1908 until 
1913 he was a partner in Wheeler and Stern in Charlotte, North Carolina. 
Stern was allied with Mann in their firm from about 1913 until about 1927 
when Stern went out on his own. Buildings he designed after that were 
the Continental Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri; Simmons National Bank in 
Pine Bluff, Arkansas; the William Len Hotel in Little Rock; and the 



199 



Slattery office building in Shreveport, Louisiana. He was still practicing 
architecture in 1939 when he app 
license for the state of Arkansas 



architecture in 1939 when he applied for and was granted an architectura 

7 



The regional significance of the architectural firm of Mann and Stern is 
obvious. Although Mann was the more prolific of the two, their joint 
contributions to Hot Springs are enormous. 



NATIONAL PARK SERVICE DESIGNERS 

The key people involved in the design of Hot Springs National Park 
during the late 1920s through the 1930s were Thomas Chalmers Vint and 
Charles E. Peterson. 

Tom Vint studied landscape architecture at the University of California 
(Berkeley). His college studies were interrupted by World War I, during 
which time he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Army Air Corps. 
While stationed in France, Vint took enough architectural courses at the 
University of Lyon to be allowed a semester's credit at Berkeley. After 
graduating, Vint worked for architect Frank Lloyd Wright in Los Angeles 
and then became an assistant landscape architect in the National Park 
Service, working for Daniel Hull. For a time Hull and Vint shared an 
office with Gilbert Stanley Underwood in Los Angeles. Underwood was 
the architect of a number of major buildings in national parks, including 
the Ahwahnee at Yosemite, Grand Canyon Lodge, and Bryce Lodge. 
Underwood later designed the Timberline Lodge. 

Vint succeeded Hull as chief landscape architect in 1927, eventually 
ending up as chief of the Branch of Plans and Designs. Among Vint's 
major contributions to the fields of architecture and landscape 
architecture were his belief in the need for sound, long-range planning 
for national parks and his strong design philosophy, from which 
developed the nonintrusive (often called "rustic") park architecture for 
natural areas. Vint also was the prime force behind the development of 



200 



parkway standards. Vint is the only man elected a Fellow of both the 

American Society of Landscape Architecture and the American Institute of 

g 
Architects, the highest honors that peers can award in those fields. 



Charles Peterson is best known for his major contributions to historic 

preservation in the United States. He joined Tom Vint's staff in 1929 

after receiving a degree in architecture from the University of Minnesota. 

Peterson worked for about a year and a half in the Southwestern Parks 

9 
and Monuments Association before transferring to Colonial Parkway. His 

early work on building restoration was pioneering in nature. His 

restorations were based on scholarly research rather than romantic 

10 
conjecture. The administration building at Hot Springs is one of the 

few modern structures he designed. 



OTHERS 

Captain Robert Stevens oversaw landscape construction at the Hot Springs 
Reservation from 1892 until 1895. Nothing is known about his earlier life. 
Stevens left Hot Springs and arrived in Yellowstone National Park in July 
1895 as disbursing quartermaster. Records indicate that Stevens was at 
Yellowstone in that capacity until September 1896, during which time he 
controlled expenditures under a congressional appropriation entitled 
"Improvement and Protection of Yellowstone National Park," most of which 



dealt with road construction. During his year-plus at Yellowstone the 

11 
Army constructed no new buildings at Fort Yellowstone. Where Stevens 

went after Yellowstone is a matter for future research. 



Charles Thompson and Associates (Thompson, Sanders, and Ginocchio) 
designed hundreds of buildings throughout Arkansas, from residences to 
university buildings and bathhouses. Among the buildings they designed 
in Hot Springs were the Alhambra Bathhouse, the Como Hotel, the Samuel 
W. Fordyce residence, the Hale Bathhouse alterations, the Hotel Moody, 

the Leon Levi Hospital, an addition to the Majestic Hotel, the Waukesha 

12 
Hotel, and several churches. Although the firm's work was quite good, 



201 



it was not as prolific or on such a monumental scale as that of the Mann 
and Stern firm. 

No information was uncovered on Frank Gibb of Little Rock, architect for 
the Buckstaff; Harry C. Schwebke of Claremore, Oklahoma, and Hot 
Springs, Arkansas, architect for the Superior and the Lamar; or George 
Gleim of Chicago and New York, architect of the Maurice. 



202 



Notes From Chapter 9 



1. During the course of research, Ms. Laura Soulliere Harrison was 
able to turn up considerable information on a few of the designers, but 
nothing on others. 

2. Exact dates are conflicting for the period of the Mann and Stern 
partnership. Mann states that they ended the partnership in 1924. 
Stern's papers revealed that they remained partners until 1927. 

3. David Y. Thomas, ed., Arkansas and Its People (New York: 
American Historical Society, 1930), p. 214. 

4. George R. Mann, "Autobiographical sketch," manuscript dated 
October 6, 1932, Little Rock, Arkansas, on file in the Arkansas State 
Historic Preservation Office, n.p. 

5. Mann's apparent exaggeration throughout the document is evident. 
Ibid. , n.p. 

6. Ibid. 

7. Arkansas State Board of Architects, Application for Registration as a 
Registered Architect, Eugene John Stern. On file at the Arkansas State 
Historic Preservation Office. 

8. William G. Carnes, "Tom Vint," Courier (the National Park Service 
newsletter, August, 1980), pp. 23-24. 

9. Tweed, Soulliere, and Law, National Park Service : Rustic 
Architecture : 1916-1942 , p. 50. 

10. Charles Hosmer, Preservation Comes of Age (Charlottesville: 
University of Virginia Press, 1981), various pages. 

11. Personal letter from Yellowstone National Park Historian, Timothy 
Manns to Laura Soulliere Harrison, January 9, 1987. 

12. F. Hampton Roy, Charles L. Thompson and Associates : Arkansas 
Architects 1885-1938 (Little Rock: August House, 1983), pp. 106-107. 



203 



204 



CHAPTER 10: SUMMARY OF FINDINGS 
AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH 



The spa industry in Hot Springs can be compared and contrasted with the 
spas of North America and Europe. Hot Springs, like the other great spa 
resorts, experienced times of economic and cultural booms followed by 
busts. The leisurely nature of spa life fostered the proliferation of 
recreational activities, including those considered immoral by local customs 
such as gambling and prostitution. The sad plight of the sick being 
manipulated by unscrupulous physicians is a tragedy that has occurred in 
any great spa. The attempt by hired representatives to illegally direct 
patients to a particular doctor, hotel, or bathhouse, however, seems 
unique to the Hot Springs spa. 

Equally unique is the government control over the thermal waters and the 
attempt thereby to regulate the bathing industry. Government policy 
toward the spa industry has been touched on only as appropriate to the 
requirements of this report. An administrative history of the Hot Springs 
National Park would provide useful data for management decisions; this 
park has a particularly complex history that has been somewhat 
abbreviated in this report. Because of funding constraints and the 
requirements of this special study, the records at the University of 
Arkansas at Fayetteville and the privately held Fordyce collection in St. 
Louis were not consulted. These materials probably could yield valuable 
information for an administrative history, which could describe in detail 
the policies and works of each superintendent; this report only briefly 
describes them. 

Hot Springs played a significant role as a health resort in the 19th and 
early 20th centuries for the people living in the Midwest and Gulf Coast 
states. This health resort's appeal outside of these regions has proved 
limited, despite promotional claims to the contrary. The national 
significance for this resort is attributable to the national government's 
administration of the thermal waters. 



205 



The dramatic decline in popularity of this resort in the post-World War II 
era resulted from many causes: the development of drugs in curing 
venereal disease and other maladies treated at Hot Springs; the changing 
vacation patterns of the American public and their use of leisure time; 
the failure of the bathhouses to adopt more economical and efficient 
bathing procedures; and the failure of the bathhouse owners to use new 
procedures and technology. These factors have led to the closure of all 
but one of the bathhouses on Bathhouse Row. 



206 



LLUSTRATIONS 



207 



Figure 1. This 19th century photograph shows how one Hot Springs 
bathhouse owner carried water to his bathhouse. He tapped the water 
directly from a hot spring and brought it, by means of an open wooden 
trough, to a holding tank at the rear of the bathhouse. (Photograph 
circa 1860.) 

Garland County Historical Society 



208 




209 



Figure 2. Segregation of the sexes was commonplace in Hot Springs' 
early bathhouses. In this photograph a small sign (here illegible) on the 
lattice-work addition designates the "Ladies Department." (Photograph 
circa 1860.) 

Garland County Historical Society 



210 




' 



211 



Figure 3. Nonambulatory patients wishing to use the waters might have 
friends or relatives carry them to Hot Springs Creek on litters such as 
this one on the bridge. The patients could then totally submerge 
themselves in the "healing waters." (Photograph circa 1860.) 

Garland County Historical Society 



212 




213 



Figure 4. Hoping to gain certain health benefits, residents and visitors 
often drank the waters directly from the springs. The open troughs 
supplied water to the early bathhouses. (Photograph circa 1860.) 

Garland County Historical Society 



214 




215 



Figure 5. Visitors and residents also collected water from the springs for 
later use. Primitive, unsanitary conditions continued until the 

construction of the Creek Arch in 1884. (Photograph circa 1860.) 

Garland County Historical Society 



216 




217 



Figure 6. In the late 1870s, Hot Springs' main street presented a 
cluttered appearance. In this stereoscopic view taken from the balcony of 
the first Arlington Hotel, bridges crossed Hot Springs Creek (left) to 
provide access to the individual bathhouses. The creek banks eroded to 
the edge of the dirt street and nearly undermined the wooden sidewalk. 
Mansard roofs proliferated in bathhouse architecture (left) and gave the 
row a cosmopolitan air. The simpler false fronts and gable roofs at the 
businesses on the west (right) side of the street provided a commercial 
image that was subservient to the higher styles of the bathhouses on the 
east side of the street. (Photograph taken after 1875 and before 1884.) 
Balch and Clary Photograph. 

Arkansas History Commission 



218 




219 



Figure 7. Downtown Hot Springs in the late 1870s had a commercial strip 
that paralleled Hot Springs Creek. Constructed side-by-side, the small, 
wood-frame buildings were prime candidates for the fires which later 
devastated the town. The elaborate trough-and-trestle system in the 
photograph carried spring water to bathhouses and businesses. Dogs, 
cattle, horses, and mules freely roamed the streets and the creek banks 
and contributed to the town's unsanitary conditions. (Photograph 
post-1875 and pre-1884.) 

Arkansas History Commission 



220 




221 



Figure 8. Hot Springs, circa 1870, sported wood-frame structures of 
vernacular design with few decorative elements. 

Garland County Historical Society 



222 




223 



Figure 9. This idealized view of Hot Springs in 1875 belied contemporary 
accounts complaining of the town's "retarded" development and its 
"temporary" architecture. In 1878 two factors contributed to a more 
substantial architectural character for the town: settlement of land claims 
against the federal government, which encouraged better building, and 
reconstruction after a devastating fire in March of that year. 

Maurice Collection, Arkansas History Commission 



224 




225 



Figure 10. Following the devastating fire in March 1878, and the 
settlement of land claims against the federal government, the face of Hot 
Springs changed dramatically. Constructed in 1882, the Gothic-inspired 
Army and Navy Hospital (upper right) loomed on the mountainside above 
Bathhouse Row. The construction of the Creek Arch in 1884 provided a 
uniformity to Bathhouse Row in the new, elegant, spacious setback for 
the bathhouses. Finally, too, the wide walkway constructed on top of the 
Creek Arch separated pedestrians from the busy street and created an 
appropriate space for a popular Victorian pastime — promenading . (1888 
rendering) . 

Arkansas History Commission 



226 




227 



Figure 11. By 1891, the approximate date of this photograph, brick 
building construction became commonplace. The Department of the 
Interior allowed only fireproof construction for new buildings on the 
reservation. The town also began adopting zoning laws and regulations 
concerning fireproof construction. Here the Gothic verticality of the 
brick Army and Navy Hospital towered above the bathhouses and Central 
Avenue businesses. Note the increase in brick construction throughout 
the town. 

Arkansas History Commission 



228 




229 



Figure 12. Once the largest hotel in the United States, the Hotel 
Eastman sported Spanish and Moorish elements in its design. The 
300-room hotel boasted steam heat, electricity, and a minaret observatory 
for viewing "a magnificent cyclorama of mountain and vale and forest 
streams." Constructed in 1891, the hotel took up an entire city block 
directly south of Bathhouse Row. 

Arkansas History Commission 



230 




231 



Figure 13. Constructed in 1893, the second Arlington Hotel contained 300 
rooms. The paired observatory towers of the Spanish Renaissance revival 
structure dominated the north end of Bathhouse Row. The hotel provided 
numerous diversions for its guests, including three concerts every day. 
The architectural firm of McClure, Stewart, and Mullgardt of St. Louis 
designed the building. Louis Mullgardt left that firm shortly after the 
Arlington's construction and went to San Francisco, where he spent the 
rest of his productive career. Mullgardt, best known as a California 
architect, designed a number of major commercial and residential 
structures in the Bay Area, including the Court of the Ages for the 1915 
Panama-Pacific Exposition and the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum. 

Arkansas History Commission 



232 




233 



Figure 14. By the early 1890s Spanish and Moorish architectural elements 
appeared in the larger hotels such as the Eastman and the Arlington and 
in slightly smaller buildings such as the Alhambra Bathhouse and the 
Arkansas Clubhouse. A late Victorian preference for exoticism and the 
area's loose ties with the Soto expedition made this preference for Spanish 
allusions in architecture an obvious choice. (Photograph circa 1891.) 

Arkansas History Commission 



234 




235 



Figure 15. Although the Magnesia Bathhouse favored the Romanesque 
Revival, the Horseshoe Bathhouse retained a Moorish feeling in its 
first-floor fenestration. (Photographs circa 1900.) 

Arkansas History Commission 



236 




237 



Figure 16. In its promotional literature, the Park Hotel emphasized its 
fireproof bathhouse and 10-acre park. Besides bathing in and drinking 
the waters, the "cure" at Hot Springs most often included pursuit of 
outdoor exercise to clear the head and tone the body. Here guests could 
enjoy the hotel's private, parklike setting in addition to the woodsy parks 
the federal reservation provided. (Rendering circa 1891.) 

Arkansas History Commission 



238 












■tii rfiirl 


■HPi\, 


w\\ 




it- 




rJL^ 





239 



Figure 17. Changes to the reservation in the 1890s included a very 
formal approach to the landscape. Detailed from the War Department to 
accomplish this work, Lieutenant Robert Stevens of the 6th Infantry 
developed the first master plan for the area. He also oversaw the 
construction of this Grand Central Entrance topped with its Roman temple 
bandstand. (Photograph circa 1900.) 

Arkansas History Commission 



240 




241 



Figure 18. As shown in this idealized rendering, Bathhouse Row's formal 
character was well established by the first decade of the 20th century. 
Exedra fountains and stone columns capped with bronze eagles flanked the 
entrance and marked the formal axis leading to the Stevens Balustrade 
and bandstand. Creating a linear unity in front of the bathhouses, the 
wide cement sidewalk and handsome magnolia trees framed the Magnolia 
Promenade. (Rendering circa 1911.) 

Arkansas History Commission 



242 



< 



o 



> 

© 

c 

S 

c 

u 
C 
> 

O 

O 



W 






I- 




243 



Figure 19. The Noble Fountain, along with several others spaced along 
Bathhouse Row, served the thermal waters to thousands daily. Originally 
at the southwest corner of Bathhouse Row, the fountain now graces the 
south entrance to the Grand Promenade. (Photograph circa 1915.) 

Arkansas History Commission 



244 




245 



Figure 20. In 1895 author Stephen Crane commented on Hot Springs' 
cosmopolitan nature. To him it typified a cross-section of the United 
States better than any other town. He saw the northern, southern, 
eastern, and western regions of the nation represented in the town's 
architecture—from humble wooden structures to large brick commercial 
blocks. Note the twin towers of the second Arlington Hotel to the left of 
center. (Photograph circa 1900.) 

Arkansas History Commission 



246 




247 



Figure 21. Author Stephen Crane noted that, in Hot Springs, "a man 
becomes a creature of three conditions. He is about to take a bath--he is 
taking a bath--he has taken a bath." Here in the crowded interior of a 
portion of the men's department at the Horseshoe Bathhouse, men partook 
of one of Crane's "conditions." 

Arkansas History Commission 



248 




249 



Figure 22. At the turn of the century Central Avenue took on its most 
cluttered appearance in history. Lines of the electric trolley cars, which 
had replaced the horse-drawn street railway, crowded the airspace above 
the avenue. Overhanging telephone lines added to the visual noise. The 
busy facades of the late Victorian bathhouses also contributed to the 
confusion. 

Arkansas History Commission 



250 




251 



Figure 23. Originally erected for use as a pump house (circa 1890), this 
building fell into the hands of the National Park Service when the 
reservation became Hot Springs National Park in 1921. NPS Director 
Stephen T. Mather felt that this substantial and squat superintendent's 
office was an embarrassment to an agency that had forced its bathhouse 
lessees to construct handsome buildings. Mather believed that the 
Service should have an administration building in the same class as the 
bathhouses. The site of this building became the location for the new 
administration building in 1935. (Photograph circa 1925.) 

Hot Springs National Park Photo Collection 



252 




253 



Figure 24. A huge fire destroyed the second Arlington Hotel on April 5, 
1923. The site of the enormous hotel later became Arlington Park at the 
north end of Bathhouse Row. 

Arkansas History Commission 



254 




255 



Figure 25. The architectural firm of Mann and Stern designed the third 
Arlington Hotel. Constructed in 1925 in a "Y" junction formed by Central 
Avenue and Fountain Street, the Spanish-inspired landmark accomplished 
two significant architectural functions. The hotel anchored the north end 
of Bathhouse Row and Hot Springs' central business district, and it 
completed the vista looking north on Central Avenue in an elegant 
fashion. 

National Park Service photo by Laura Soulliere Harrison, 1986. 



256 




257 



Figure 26. Completed in 1933, the Army and Navy Hospital (now the Hot 
Springs Rehabilitation Center) dwarfed the buildings on Bathhouse Row. 
Its enormous size was consistent with that of the Hotel Eastman to the 
south. The Spanish elements in its design harmonized with those found 
in the Arlington, the Eastman, and several of the bathhouses. 

National Park Service photo by Laura Soulliere Harrison, 1986. 



258 




259 



Figure 27. With its wrought-iron balconies and window grates, baroque 
entrance, and tile roof, the new administration building created a visual 
link between the Army and Navy Hospital and Hotel Eastman and between 
Bathhouse Row and the Arlington around the corner. NPS architect 
Charles Peterson recognized the importance of this building's pivotal 
location and incorporated specific features in the design to tie the 
structure into its urban setting. For instance, he designed the 
building's main entrance facing Reserve Avenue rather than Central 
Avenue to visually connect the structure to the Army and Navy Hospital 
and the Eastman and to provide an appropriate western edge to the Grand 
Promenade's entrance. 

National Park Service photo by Laura Soulliere Harrison, 1986. 



260 




261 



Figure 28. The enormous size of the Army and Navy Hospital (right) 
dwarfed the other structures around it. Yet from a pedestrian point of 
view along Central Avenue, Bathhouse Row and the backdrop of trees 
along the Grand Promenade hid the structure from sight. (1950s 
photograph. ) 

Arkansas History Commission 



262 




pirn ^ «'««•« 







263 



Figure 29. Designed by Frank W. Gibb of Little Rock, the neoclassical 
Buckstaff Bathhouse received lavish praise because of its resemblance to 
the Irish House of Parliament. Built in 1912, the structure possessed a 
formal ambience with strong classical allusions. (Photograph circa 1920.) 

Arkansas History Commission 



264 



c 




o 








*-> 




« 




> 




u 




c 






Ji 


as 


< 


CO 


Cfi 




ttf 


b 


c 




,«M 


C/5 


c/3 


CC 


— 


CQ 





te 


K 


CO 




•- 




to 




.* 




o 




3 




ca 






265 



Figure 30. In 1916 the architectural firm of Mann and Stern redesigned 
the Hale Bathhouse. They gutted the old 1892-93 structure and rebuilt 
major portions of walls. Then they changed the look of the building to 
one of Beaux-Arts classicism, and they redesigned and updated the 
interior. In the late 1930s the firm of Thompson, Sanders, and Ginocchio 
again redesigned the building and turned it into a Mission Revival 
structure. (Photograph circa 1920.) 

Hot Springs National Park Photo Collection. 



266 




267 



Figure 31. Completed in 1915, the Fordyce Bathhouse possessed the most 
ornate exterior on Bathhouse Row. The owners hoped to attract a 
wealthy clientele, so they hired Mann and Stern to design a luxurious 
building. Spanish and Italianate elements gave the building a distinct 
character. 

Arkansas History Commission. 



268 



c 
< 
a. 

-J 
< 
z 
O 

< 
Z 

(/> 

o 

z 

<r 

0. 
</> 

►- 

o 

z 



AC 

o 

* 

cr 

Z 
< 
5 



o 

z 



X 

< 

01 

o 

> 
a 

a. 

O 

u. 




269 



Figure 32. The marble partitions, stained glass skylight, and De Soto 
Fountain in the men's bath hall show the level of elegance attained in the 
Fordyce Bathhouse. 

Hot Springs National Park Photo Collection. 



270 




271 



Figure 33. To compete with the amenities the Fordyce provided, 
Bathhouse owner Billie Maurice updated the interior of the Maurice 
Bathhouse in 1915. The new Roycroft Den provided an architectural 
space derived out of Elbert Hubbard's arts-and-crafts Roycrofters 
movement. The reverse of this postcard read: 

The Roycroft Den. This is the most unique and artistic room 
in America. The size is 23 x 60 ft., red tile floor, walnut 
wainscotting, with art glass panel ceiling. The frieze picture 
"Holland Life" is by the well-known artist Frederick Warnecke. 
The large homey cobblestone fireplace, and the comfortable 
Roycroft furnishings make it an ideal rest room. The croquet 
billiard table, latest magazines and victrola furnish 
entertainment for our guests. 

Arkansas History Commission. 



272 




273 



Figure 34. Designed by architect Harry Schwebke, the Superior 

Bathhouse possessed a strictly commercial facade which was of little 

impact when compared with the Fordyce and the Maurice. The Superior 
was constructed in 1916. 

Arkansas History Commission. 



274 




275 



Figure 35. Mann and Stern designed the Government Free Bathhouse in 
1922 to serve the indigent. Lack of space on Bathhouse Row and, 
undoubtedly, political pressure to remove indigents from the sight of 
wealthier patrons forced construction of this handsome Greek Revival 
building on Reserve Avenue. 

H.W. Lix photo for the WPA Federal Writers' Project. Arkansas History 
Commission. 



276 




277 



Figure 36. In 1922, Mann and Stern also designed the Ozark Bathhouse 
Its elegant Spanish Colonial Revival facade belied its simple interior 

Arkansas History Commission 



278 




279 



Figure 37. Mann and Stern's design of the 1922 Quapaw Bathhouse 
combined a handsome Spanish Colonial Revival facade, a mosaic-tiled 
dome, and a groin-vaulted sun porch. NPS architect Charles Peterson 
believed that the only two buildings on Bathhouse Row with any 
architectural character were the Fordyce and the Quapaw. 

Arkansas History Commission 



280 




281 



Figure 38. In 1913 George Mann designed the Thompson Building across 
from Bathhouse Row. This neoclassical building provided a fine 
counterpoint for the Buckstaff and the Hale (before the latter's 
"missionization"). Mann envisioned Beaux-Arts structures of this type in 
his 1916 master plan for Bathhouse Row. The Department of the Interior 
rejected Mann's plan as too costly. 

National Park Service Photo by Laura Soulliere Harrison, 1986. 



282 




283 



Figure 39. By the late 1930s, Bathhouse Row possessed an architectural 
character and ambience nearly identical to its character today. 

Arkansas History Commission. 



284 




285 



Figure 40. The removal of the last cooling towers (not visible in the 
photograph) during the 1950s was the only major change to the buildings 
of Bathhouse Row after the late 1930s. 

Arkansas History Commission. 



286 




287 



288 



APPENDIX: 


MEMORANDUM ON 


OWNERSHIP 


OF 


RESERVATION 


BATHHOUSES 


FROM 1888 




UNTIL 


1891 (from 


National A 


rchives, 




Record 


Group 


79, 


Entry 1 , 


Box 12) 



289 



[copy] 



Memorandum of Ownership of Reservation 
Bath Houses at Hot Springs 



A 


B. 


Gaines 




Ed Hogaboom 




Geo. 


W. Buckstaff 


A 


B. 


Gaines 




C. 


B. 


Piatt 




M 


C. 


Tombler 




L. 


H. 


Roots 




Geo. 


H. Buckstaff 


John 


Martin 





OLD HALE 




1888 




3/4 


Hot Springs 


1/8 


Hot Springs 


1/8 


Wisconsin 


1890 




1/8 


Hot Springs 


3/8 


New York 


3/16 


Hot Springs 


1/8 


Little Rock 


1/8 


Wisconsin 


1/16 


Minnesota 



M.C. Tombler 
Geo. Buckstaff 
C.B. Piatt 



1891 
Arrangement in Escrow 

2/8 ) To A.B. Gaines, Hot Springs 

1/8 ) 

3/8 ) L.H. Roots, Little Rock. 



A. 


B. 


Gaines 




Ed Hogaboom 




Geo. 


H. Buckstaff 


A. 


B. 


Gaines 




L. 


H. 


Roots 




C. 


B. 


Piatt 




Geo. 


H. Buckstaff 


M. 


C. 


Tombler 




John 


Martin 





C.B. Piatt 
A.B. Gaines 
Geo. Buckstaff 
L.H. Roots 



LAMAR 




1888 




3/4 


Hot Springs 


1/8 


Hot Springs 


1/8 


Wisconsin 


1890 




1/8 


Hot Springs 


1/8 


Little Rock 


3/8 


New York 


1/8 


Wisconsin 


3/16 


Hot Springs 


1/16 


Minnesota 


cement in 


Escrow 


1891 




3/8 


) 


1/8 


) To M.C. Tombler 


1/8 


) Hot Springs 


1/8 





290 



[copy] 



A.B. Gaines 
Ed Hogaboom 
Geo. H. Buckstaff 



M.C. Tombler 
A.B. Gaines 
L.H. Roots 
C.B. Piatt 
Geo. H. Buckstaff 
John Martin 



M.C. Tombler 

A.B. Gaines 

L.H. Roots 

C.B. Piatt 



RAMMELSBURG 




1888 






1/2 




Hot Springs 


1/4 




Hot Springs 


1/4 




Wisconsin. 


1890 






3/16 




Hot Springs 


1/8 




Hot Springs 


1/8 




Little Rock 


3/8 




New York 


1/8 




Wisconsin 


1/16 




Minnesota 


1891 






Arrangement ir 


i Escrow 


2/8 


) 




1/8 


) 


To Geo. H. Buckstaff 


1/8 


) 


Wisconsin 


3/8 







A 


B. 


Gaines 


Ed Hogaboom 


Geo. 


H. Buckstaff 


A 


B. 


Gaines 


L. 


H. 


Roots 


C 


B. 


Piatt 


Geo. 


H. Buckstaff 


M 


C. 


Tombler 


John 


Martin 



MAGNESIA 




1888 




3/4 


Hot Springs 


1/8 


Hot Springs 


1/8 


Wisconsin. 


1890 




1/8 


Hot Springs 


1/8 


Little Rock 


3/8 


New York 


1/8 


Wisconsin 


3/16 


Hot Springs 


1/16 


Mir.nesota 



1891 
Arrangement in Escrow 



M.C. 


Tombler 


A.B. 


Gaines 


L.H. 


Roots 


Geo. 


H. Buckstaff 


C.B. 


Piatt 



2/8 
1/8 
1/8 
1/8 
3/8 



To 



Henry Boswell 
New York. 



291 



[copyj 







HORSE-SHOE 






1888 




A.B. 


Gaines 


3/4 


Hot Springs 


Geo. 


H. Buckstaff 


1/8 


Wisconsin 


Ed H 


ogaboom 


1/8 
1890 


Hot Springs 


M.C. 


Tombler 


3/16 


Hot Springs 


A.B. 


Gaines 


1/8 


Hot Springs 


L.H. 


Roots 


1/8 


Little Rock 


Geo. 


Buckstaff 


1/8 


Wisconsin 


C.B. 


Piatt 


3/8 


New York 


John 


Martin 


1/16 
1891 


Minnesota 






Arrangement in 


Escrow 


M.C. 


Tombler 


2/8 : 


) To R.B. Woodward 


A.B. 


Gaines 


1/8 


) New York. 


L.H. 


Roots 


1/8 




Geo. 


Buckstaff 


1/8 




Chas 


. B. Piatt 


3/8 





A.B. 


Gaines 


G.G. 


Latta 


S.W. 


Fordyce 


Ed Hogaboom 


Geo. 


H. Buckstaff 


C.B. 


Piatt 


A.B. 


Gaines 


G.H. 


Buckstaff 


G.G. 


Latta 


S.W. 


Fordyce 


M.C. 


Tombler 


John 


Martin 


L.H. 


Roots 



NDEPENDENT 
1888 
1/4 
1/4 
1/4 
1/8 
1/8 

1890 
3/16 
1/16 
1/16 
1/4 
1/4 
3/32 
1/32 
1/16 



Hot Springs 
Hot Springs 
St. Louis, 
Hot Springs 
Wisconsin 



New York. 
Hot Springs 
Wisconsin 
Hot Springs 
St. Louis 
Hot Springs 
Minnesota 
Little Rock 



M 


C. 


Tombler 


C 


B. 


Piatt 


G 


H. 


Buckstaff 


L. 


H. 


Roots 


A 


B. 


Gaines 


S 


W. 


Fordyce 


G 


.G. 


Latta 



1891 
Arrangement in Escrow 
2/16 
3/16 
1/16 

1/16 ) C 

1/16 
1/4 
1/4 



C.E. Maurice 
and 
G. Converse 
Hot Springs 



292 



A 


.B. 


Gaines 


H. 


.M. 


Rector 


A 


.B. 


Gaines 


C 


,B. 


Piatt 


H 


.M. 


Rector 


A 


.B. 


Gaines 


C 


.B. 


Piatt 


H 


.M. 


Rector 



NEW RECTOR 




1888 






1/2 




Hot Springs 


1/2 




Little Rock 


1890 






1/4 




Hot Springs 


1/4 




New York 


1/2 




Little Rock. 


1891 






1/4 


) 


To M.E. Fel 


1/4 






1/2 







[copy] 



BIG IRON 
1888 

Dr. A.S. Garnett: The whole interest up to 

January 17, when he sold 1/2 to George E. Lemon for $15,000. 

1890 
A.S. Garnett 1/2 Hot Springs 

George E. Lemon 1/2 Washington, D.C 

1891 
A.S. Garnett 1/2 Hot Springs 

George E. Lemon 1/2 Washington, D.C 



PALACE 
1888 
S.W. Fordyce 1/2 St. Louis 

L.H. Carhart 1/2 Texas 

1891 
S.W. Fordyce St. Louis 

L.H. Carhart Texas 



293 



[copy] 



Geo. G. Latta 



Geo. G. Latta 
S.W. Fordyce 
Chas. E. Maurice 



S.W. Fordyce 
Chas. E. Maurice 



OZARK 
1888 


Hot Springs 


1890 
1/4 
1/2 
1/4 


Hot Springs 
St. Louis 
Hot Springs 


1891 




In Escrow 
) 
) 


To G.G. Latta 
Hot Springs 



SMITHMEYER 
1888 and 1890 
Geo. H. Lemon The whole interest 

1891 
W. Buck Taylor Omaha 



S.H. Stitt 
S.W. Fordyce 
A.B. Gaines 



ARLINGTON 


HOTEL 




1888- 1890 


-1891 






1/3 




Hot 


Springs 


1/3 




St. 


Louis 


1/3 




New 


York 



294 



SUMMARY 

1888 

In the Seven Bath Houses 



copy] 



Independent 

Horse-Shoe 

Magnesia 

Lamar 

Rammelsburg 

Old Hale 

Rector 

A.B. Gaines owned 
and 1/3 

S.W. Fordyce 

and 1/3 Arlington 
Hotel. 

Ed Hogaboom 
G.H. Buckstaff 
G.G. Latta 
H.M. Rector 



34/8 



2/8 



Total 



7/8 
7/8 
2/8 
4/8 

56/8 



Hot Springs 
Arlington Hotel 

St. Louis 



Hot Springs 
Wisconsin 
Hot Springs 
Little Rock 

7 Bath Houses 



1890 



A.B. 


Gaines 


C.B. 


Piatt 


M.C. 


Tombler 


L.H. 


Roots 


G.H. 


Buckstaff 


John 


Martin 


H.M. 


Rector 


G.G. 


Latta 


S.W. 


Fordyce 



30/32 


Hot Springs 


74/32 


New York 


33/32 


Hot Springs 


22/32 


Little Rock 


22/32 


Wisconsin. 


11/32 


Minnesota 


16/32 


Little Rock 


8/32 


Hot Springs 


8/32 


St. Louis 



295 



[copy] 

Old Hale 
Lamar 
Horse-Shoe 
Independent 

Rammelsberg 

Magnesia 

Rector 

Big Iron 

Palace 

Ozark 
Smithmeyer 



1891 
In Escrow 

) A.B. Gaines 

) L.H. Roots 

M.C. Tombler 

R.B. Woodward 

C . E. Maurice 
C.G. Converse 

Geo. H. Buckstaff 

Henry Boswell 

H.M. Rector 
C.B. Piatt 
M.E. Fellows 

A.S. Garnett 
Geo. E. Lemon 

S.W. Fordyce 
L.H. Carhart 

G.G. Latta 

W. Buck Taylor 



New York 
Little Rock 
Hot Springs 

New York 





Hot Springs 




Hot Springs 




Wisconsin 




New York 


1/2 


Little Rock 


1/4 


New York 


1/4 


New York. 


1/2 


Hot Springs 


1/2 


Washington 


1/2 


St. Louis 


1/2 


Texas 




Hot Springs 




Omaha 



C.B. Piatt is Brother-in-law to A.B. Gaines 

S.H. Stitt is Brother-in-law to A.B. Gaines 

M.E. Fellows is Mother-in-law to A.B. Gaines 

R.B. Woodward is business partner of C.B. Piatt 

[end copy] 



296 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 

1 . Manuscript Materials 

Hot Springs, Arkansas. Garland County Historical Society Files. 

. Hot Springs National Park. Hot Springs National Library. Hot 

Springs National Park Files. 

. Diane Rhodes Collection. 

. Francis J. Scully Collection. 

. K34 News, Media and Publicity File. 

. Lamar Collection. 

. Special Collections. 

. Thomas Scully Collection. 

. . . William T. Curtis Collection. 

Little Rock, Arkansas. Arkansas State Historical Collection Files. 
Arkansas State Historic Preservation Office's Files. 



. Territorial Restoration Special Collections Files. 

. University of Arkansas at Little Rock Library. Special 

Collection Files. 

Washington, D.C. National Archives. Records of the National Park 
Service. Record Group 79. 



2. Government Documents 

Bathhouse Row Adaptive Use Program Technical Reports . Denver, 
Colorado: National Park Service, 1985. 

Benson, Forrest M. and Donald S. Libbey, "History of Hot Springs 
National Park." Hot Springs National Park, ca. 1950. 

Bryan, Kirk. "Report on the Hot Water Supply of the Hot Springs 
National Park, Arkansas." 10 November 1921. Natural Resources 
Division, Record Group 79, National Archives. 

Carter, Clarence Edwin, comp. and ed., The Territorial Papers of the 
United States . Vol. 21, The Territory of Arkansas , 1825-1829 , and 
vol. 22, The Territory of Arkansas , 1829-1836 . Washington, D.C: 
Government Printing Office, 1954. 



297 



Copeland, Randall, and Stiles, Wilson. "Historic Structure Report on the 
Fordyce Bathhouse, Hot Springs National Park." Unpublished report 
on file at Denver Service Center, 1987. 

Department of the Interior. Annual Report of the Superintendent of 
National Parks to the Secretary of the Interior for the Fiscal Year 
Ended June 30, 1916 . Washington, D.C.: Government Printing 
Office, 1916. 

Department of the Interior. National Park Service. Bathhouse Row 
Adaptive Use Program , Technical Report No . ]_: The Bathhouse Row 
Landscape . Technical Report No . 2: The Superior Bathhouse . 
Technical Report No . 3: The Hale Bathhouse . Technical Report No . 
4: The Maurice Bathhouse . Technical Report No . 5: The Fordyce 
Bathhouse . Technical Report No . 6: The Quapaw Bathhouse . 
Technical Report No . 7: The Ozark Bathhouse . Denver: Denver 
Service Center, 1985. 

Department of the Interior. National Park Service. General Management 
Plan , Hot Springs National Park Bathhouse Row and Vicinity , 
Arkansas , Denver: Denver Service Center, 1978. 

Department of the Interior. National Park Service. General Management 
Plan , Development Concept Plan , Environmental Assessment : Hot 
Sprigs National Park . Denver: Denver Service Center, 1985. 

Department of the Interior. Hot Springs National Park , Arkansas : 
Regulations Covering Bathhouse s and Their Operations , Bath 
Attendants and the Federal Registration Board . Washington, D.C.: 
Government Printing Office, 1937. 

Department of the Interior. Report of the Active Superintendent of 
Yellowstone National Park to the Secretary of the Interior , 1975 . 
Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1895. 

Department of the Interior. Report of the Director of the National Park 
Service to the Secretary of the Interior for the Fiscal Year Ended 
June 30, 1923 and the Travel Season , 1923 . Washington, D.C.: 
Government Printing Office, 1923. 

Dickins, Asbury, and John W. Forney, eds. American State Papers : 
Documents of the Congress of the United States in Relation to the 
Public Lands from the First Session of the Twentieth Congress , 
March 3, 1829 . 8 vols. Washington, D.C.: Gales and Seaton, 1860. 

Digest of Civ- Ordinances : City of Hot Springs , Arkansas , April 1, 
1907 . Little Rock, Arkansas: Democrat Printing & Lithographing 
Co., 1907. 

Eisele, Martin A. Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs 
Reservation . Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1900. 



298 



_. Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs Reservation . 
Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1901. 

_. Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs Reservation to the 
Secretary of the Interior , 1903 . Washington, D.C.: Government 
Printing Office, 1903. 

_. Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs Reservation , 1904 . 
Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1904. 

Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs Reservation , 1905 . 



Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1905. 

Field, Charles W. Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs 
Reservation to the Secretary of the Interior , 1885 . Washington, 
D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1885. 

Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs Reservation to the 



Secretary of the Interior , 1886 . Washington, D.C.: Government 
Printing Office, 1886. 

General Information Regarding the Hot Springs of Arkansas . Washington, 
D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1912. 

Hamblen, Samuel. Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs 
Reservation , Made to the Secretary of the Interior , for the Fiscal 
Year Ending June 30, 1884 . Washington, D.C.: Government 
Printing Office, 1884. 

Haywood, John Kerfoot. The Hot Springs of Arkansas : Report of an 
Analysis of the Waters of the Hot Springs on the Hot Springs 
Reservation , Hot Springs , Garland County , Ark. . Washington, 
D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1902. 

Hot Springs National Park. Bathhouse Operations Manual . Hot Springs, 
Arkansas: United States Department of the Interior, 1979. 

Hot Springs Reservation Commission. Hot Springs , Reservation , in the 
State of Arkansas , for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1878 . 
Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1878. 

. Report of the Commission Appointed under the Provisions of Act 

of Congress of March 3, 1877 , Regarding the Hot Springs 
Reservation in the State of Arkansas . Washington, D.C.: 
Government Printing Office, 1877. 

Kelley, Benjamin F. Report of tine Superintendent of Hot Springs 

Reservation , in the State of Arkansas for the Fiscal Year Ended 

June 30, 1878 . Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 
1878. 



299 



Little, William J. Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs 
Reservation to the Secretary of the Interior for the Fiscal Year 
Ended June 30, 1893 . Washington, D.C.: Government Printing 
Office, 1893. 

. Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs Reservation to the 

Secretary of the Interior for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30 , 1894 . 
Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1894. 

. Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs Reservation to the 

Secretary of the Interior for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30 , 1895 . 
Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1895. 

. Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs Reservation to the 

Secretary of the Interior for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30 , 1896 . 
Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1896. 

Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs Reservation to the 



Secretary of the Interior for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30 , 1897 . 
Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1897. 

. Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs Reservation to the 

Secretary of the Interior for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1898 . 
Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1898. 

Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs Reservation to the 



Secretary of the Interior for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1899 . 
Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1899. 

Meyers, Harry H. Report on the Hot Springs Reservation , Hot Springs , 
Arkansas . Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1909. 

• Report on the Hot Springs Reservation , Hot Springs , Arkansas . 

Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1912. 

Report on the Hot Springs Reservation , Hot Springs , Arkansas . 



Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1913 

Musick, Thomas H. Investigation of Hot Springs Affairs : Report to the 
Secretary of the Interior , Washington, D.C.: Government Printing 
Office, 1890. 

National Park Service. Report of the Director of the National Park 
Service. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1918. 

New York Conservation Department. Saratoga Spa . State of New York 
Conservation Dept.. Division of Saratoga Springs, 1941. 

Owens, David Dale. Second Report of a Geological Reconnaissance of the 
Mlddle and Southern Counties of Arkansas . Made During the Years 
of 1859 and 1860 . Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: C. Sherman & Son, 
Printers, 1860. 



300 



Parks, William P. Report of the Superintendent of the Hot Springs 
Reservation for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30 , 1915 . Washington, 
D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1915. 

Report of the Superintendent of the Hot Springs Reservation 



for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1919 . Washington, D.C.: 
Government Printing Office, 1919. 

Rhodes, Diane. Historic Grounds and Structures : An Interim Report on 
Bathhouse Row , Hot Springs National Park , Arkansas . " Denver, 
Colorado: United States Department of the Interior, 1985. 

Richardson, James D., comp. A Compilation of the Messages and Papers 
of the President , 1789-1897 . Washington, D.C.: Government 
Printing Office, 1896. 

Smith, W. Scott. Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs 
Reservation . Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1908. 

Thompson, Frank M. Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs 
Reservation to the Secretary of the Interior , 1891 . Washington, 
D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1891. 

Trowbridge, Charles R. Report of the Superintendent of Hot Springs 
Reservation . Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1914. 

Tweed, William, Laura Soulliere, and Henry Law. National Park Service 
Rustic Architecture : 1916-1942 . San Francisco," California: 

National Park Service, 1977. 

U.S. Congress. House. Final Report of the United States De Soto 
Expedition Commission . H. Doc. 71, 76th Cong., 1st sess., 1939. 

Report of the Secretary of Interior , 1892 . House 



Executive Doc. 12, 52d Cong., 2d sess., 1893. 

U.S. Geological Survey. The Waters of Hot Springs National Park , 
Arkansas -- Their Nature and Origin . Washington, D.C.: 

Government Printing Office, 1979. 

Weed, Walter Harvey. Geological Sketch of Hot Springs District , 
Arkansas . Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1902. 



3. Newspapers and Periodicals 

Antev, Ernst. "Climatic Changes and Pre-White Man." University of 
Utah Bulletin . 27(1948). 

Arkansas Gazette . 1829. 1872. 1892. 1916. 1920. 1934. 1937. 1956. 
1969. 1980. 



301 



"Balfour Hotel and Dining Room." The Hot Springs Visitor's Bulletin : 
Your Guide to Everything 13 (May 12, 1934): 1. 

"Bath House Rules." The Hot Springs Medical Journal 1 (March 15, 
1892): 68. 

"The Bath Near Pompeii." The Athenaeum 104 (December 22, 1894): 868. 

"Bathe Your Way to Health in the Thermal Waters at Hot Springs National 
Park, Arkansas" The Hot Springs Visitor's Bulletin 12 June 1943: 4. 

Bathurst, William R. "Why Not Try Our Home Spas?" The Journal of the 
Arkansas Medical Society 9 (November 1914): 144-145. 

"Big Iron Bath House." Hot Springs Illustrated 3 (June 1879): n.p. 

Bryan, Kirk. "The Hot Water Supply of the Hot Springs of Arkansas." 
The Journal of Geology 30 (September-October 1922). 

Carnes, William G. "Tom Vint." Courier , August 1980, pp. 23-24. 

Chicago Tribune . 1888. 

"Cholera." The Hot Springs Medical Journal 1 (October 15, 1892). 

Deadrick, William H. "The Oertel System of Graduated Exercise." The 
New York Medical Journal 103 (May 13, 1916). 

Denton, D.H. and W. Kalen. "Holocene Climatic Variations: Their 
Pattern and Possible Cause." Quaternary Research 3 (August 1973). 

"Evolution of the Bath." Literary Digest 89 (June 19, 1926): 46. 

"Flood Leaves 1 Dead, Over $250,000 Damage." Hot Springs New Era 15 
February 1956. 

"400 Persons May Be Implicated in Drumming Scandal." Arkansas 
Democrat 2 October 1916. 

Gatewood, Williard B., Jr. "Arkansas Negroes in the 1890s: 

Documents." The Arkansas Historical Quarterly 33 (Winter 1974). 

"Theodore Roosevelt and Arkansas, 1901-1912. The Arkansas 



Historical Quarterly 32 (Spring 1973). 

Gavin, George- W. "Personal Impressions of the Arkansas Hot Springs 
with a Report of a Case." New York Medical Journal 45 (June 
1887): 656-658. 

"The Government and Radium." Journal of the American Medical 
Association 61 (September 20, 1913). 



302 



"Great Work." Hot Springs Daily News . 3 August 1904, p. 1. 

Haag, William G. "The Archaic of the Lower Mississippi Valley." 
American Antiquity 26 (January 1961): 300-320. 

Harris, W.B. "Night in a Moorish Hummum." Blackwood's Magazine 148 
(October 1890): 568-74. 

"Hot Springs and Syphilis." The Hot Springs Medical Journal 1 (March 
15, 1892): 69. 

"Hot Springs Medical Matters." The Hot Springs Medical Journal 1 
(November 15, 1892). 

Hudgins, Mary D. "A Thumbnail History of Hot Springs." Hot Springs 
Natural History Journal 2 (1954): 1-45. 

Hutchinson, W. "Taking the Waters: The Humbug of Hot Springs." 
Everybody's Magazine 28 (February 1913): 159-172. 

Inkersley, Arthur. "Bathing in Ancient Rome and Its Effect on Roman 
Character." Education 16 (November 1895): 134-40. 

Jelks, James T. "Hot Springs of Arkansas and Their Therapeutical 
Indications." The Hot Springs Medical Journal 1 (June 1882): 
513-518. 

Jones, Ruth Irene. "Hot Springs: Ante-Bellum Watering Place." The 
Arkansas Historical Quarterly 14 (Spring 1955): pp. 3-30. 

'"A Just Criticism.'" The Hot Springs Medical Journal 1 (October 15, 
1892). 

Keller, J.M. "The Hot Springs of Arkansas." The Hot Springs Medical 
Journal 1 (February 15, 1892): 29-33. 

"Knickerbocker Hotel and Dining Room." The Hot Springs Visitor's 
Bulletin : Your Guide to Everything 13 (May 12, 1934): 2. 

Kovas, Richard. "American Spas." Hygeia 17 (March 1939): 207-91. 

Lambros, Spyr P. "The Serangeum in the Piraeus." The Athenaeum 109 
(March 20, 1897): 385-86. 

"Last Night's Flood." The Daily Hot Springs Globe 23 September 1890. 

Lautman, Maurice F. "Hydrotherapy in Arthritis." Archives of Physical 
Therapy , X-Ray , Radium 16 (September 1935): 100-112. 

Lowie, Robert H. "Bathing through the Ages." American Mercury 15 
(September 1928): 62-64. 



303 



Martin, Alfred. "On Bathing." Ciba Symposia 1 (August 1939): 1-148. 

Martin, Louis G. "Under Water Physiotherapy and Pool Therapy." The 
Journal of the Arkansas Medical Society 30 (April 1934): 220-235. 

Mason, Ronald J. "The Paleo-lndian Tradition in Eastern North America." 
Current Anthropology 3 (April 1962): 233-240. 

"The Medicinal Value of the Hot Springs (Arkansas) Waters." American 
Journal of Health 23 (December 15, 1896). 

"Miller's Hotel Dining Room." The Hot Springs Visitor's Bulletin : Your 
Guide to Everything 13 (May 12, 1934): 3. 

New York Times . 1878. 1880. 1884. 1913. 1923. 1964. 1980. 1984. 

"Notes on the Present Bath Houses." Hot Springs Medical Journal 1 (July 
15, 1892): 137. 

Parsons, F.W. "Sutro Baths of San Francisco." Scientific American 
April 29, 1899. p. 266. 

Patraw, Preston P. "Routine Bathing Instructions." The Hot Springs 
Visitor's Bulletin , December 14, 1949. 

"Points of Interest." The Hot Springs Visitor's Bulletin : Your Guide to 
Everything . 13 (May 12, 1934): 4. 

"Police Count." The Daily Hot Springs Globe . 23 September 1890. 

Purdum, E.A. "The Thermal Baths in the Treatment of Syphilis." The 
Journal of the Arkansas Medical Society 27 (December 1930): 
138-139. 

Rae, W. Fraser. "Life at Bohemian Baths." Blackwood's Edinburgh 
Magazine 148 (October 1890): 515-529. 

Rector, Henry M. Jr. "Then and Now." The Hot Springs Medical 
Journal 4 (August 15, 1895): 226. 

"Registered Physicians." The Hot Springs Visitor's Bulletin 14 December 
1949: 5. 

"Relief for 'La Grippe' Sufferers." The Hot Springs Medical Journal 1 
(February 15, 1892): 45. 

Rhodes, Harrison. "American Holidays: Springs and Mountains." 
Harper's Monthly Magazine September 1914. 

Rinehart, Mary Roberts, "Taking the Cure in Europe." Saturday Evening 
Post 205 (October 1, 1932): 6-7. 



304 



Russell, L.E. "The Virtues of Hot Springs, Arkansas." The American 
Medical Journal of St. Louis , Missouri 25 (1897). 

"Sanitary Notes." The Hot Springs Medical Journal 1 (October 15, 1892). 

Saratoga: $8,500,000 Spent to Make N.Y. Spa World's Best." Newsweek 
August 3, 1935. pp. 32-33. 

"Saratoga Spa," Time August 5, 1935. pp. 28-29. 

"Scenes in Arkansas." The Spirit of the Times 20 October 1849. 

Scully, Francis J. "Spa Therapy of Arthritis and Rheumatic Disorders." 
Archives of Physicial Medicine 26 (April, 1945): 233-243. 

Sentinel-Record (Hot Springs). 1901. 1914. 1923. 1937. 1938. 1945. 
1956. 1967. 1976. 

Small, Collie. "The Town Without A Lid" Saturday Evening Post July 20, 
1946. 

Smith, Euclid M. "Underwater Therpay in Chronic Arthritis." Archives 
of Physical Therapy , X-Ray , Radium 16 (September 1935): 534-536. 

Steen, Pamela. "Spas: Pleasure or Penance?" History Today 31 
(September 1981): 30-35. 

Stoltman, James B. "Temporal Models in Prehistory: An Example from 
Eastern North America." Current Anthropology 19 (December 1978). 

Strong, Philip. "Hot Springs" Holiday 9 (January 1951). 

"The Sutro Baths." Scientific American July 23, 1898. p. 52. 

"Terrific Flash Flood Hits Hot Springs; Twisters Sweep Northern Half of 
State." Arkansas Democrat 15 February 1956. 

"That Drumming Case." The Hot Springs Medical Journal 1 (March 15, 
1892). 

"They Want the Earth," The Hot Springs Medical Journal 1 (May 15, 
1892): 91. 

Thompson, M.G. "Mercury in the Treatment of Syphilis." The Hot 
Springs Medical Journal 1 (March 15, 1892): 49-51. 

"To the Visitors and Tourists to Hot Springs." The Hot Springs Visitor's 
Bulletin 23 December 1944. 

"Trip to Mountain Valley Springs." Southern Standard (Arkadelphia, 
Arkansas) 2 August 1873. 



305 



"Uncle Sam's Own Spa." Literary Digest 120 (December 14, 1935): 33. 

"Upon the Use of Hot Water--With Special Reference to Hot Springs, 
Arkansas," The Hot Springs Medical Journal 5 (December 1896). 

"Utopia." The Hot Springs Medical Journal 1 (December 15, 1892). 

"Waters take 4,000-year Trip." Scene May 1982. p. 5. 

"Who's \^ere and Where." The Hot Springs Visitor's Bulletin . 28 February 
1942. 

"Wright, H.E., Jr. "The Dynamic Nature of Holocene Vegetation." 
Quarternary Research 6 (December 1976). 

4. Books, Pamphlets, and Unpublished Material 

Aaron, Daniel, and Richard Hofstader and William Miller. The United 
States : A History of a Republic . Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: 
Prentice Hall, Inc. , 1967. 

Addison, William. English Spas . London: B.T. Batsford Ltd., 1951. 

Ahearn, Marie L. "Health Restoring Resorts on the New England Coast." 
In Victorian Resorts and Hotels : Essays from a Victorian Society 
Autumn Symposium , edited by Richard Guy Wilson. N.p.: The 
Victorian Society in America, 1982. 

Athearn, Robert G. High Country Empire : The High f :ains and 
Rockies . Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1960. 

Baden-Baden : Pictures and Information for the Friends of the World 
Famous Spa in the Black Forest , n.p. : n.d. 

Baker, Charles M. "Archeological Inventory of Hot Springs National 
Park." Fayetteville, Arkansas, June 1975. (Typewritten) 

Baketel, H. Sheridan. The Treatment of Syphilis . New York, New 
York: The Macmillan Company, 1920. 

Bazin, Germain. The Baroque : Principles , Styles , Modes , Themes . 
Greenwich, Connecticut: New York Graphic Society, 1968. 

Bedinger, S. Valley of the Vapors : Hot Springs National Park . 
Philadelphia: Eastern National Park and Monument Association, 1974. 

Black, Thomas N. and W.M. Blacksnare. Hydrotherapy in the Treatment 
of Syphilis . n.p.:n.d., 1930. 

nstructions for Patients Suffering from Gonorrhea . Hot 



Springs, Arkansas: n.p.m.d 



306 



Brandt, Allen M. No Magic Bullet : A Social History of Venereal Disease 
jj2 the United States Since 1880 . New York, New York: Oxford 
University Press, 1985. 

Branner, John C. Annual Report of the Geological Survey of Arkansas 
for 1888. Little Rock, Arkansas: Press Printing Co., 1888. 

. Hot Springs Arkansas . The World's Greatest Health and 

Pleasure Resort . Little Rock, Arkansas: Democrat P. and L. Co., 
ca. 1917. 

Brown, Dee. The American Spa : Hot Springs , Arkansas . Little Rock, 
Arkansas: Rose Publishing Company, 1982. 

Buchman, Dian Dincin. The Complete Book of Water Therapy . New 
York, New York: E.P. Dutton, 1979. 

Buckstaff Bath House , Hot Springs , Ark. . n.p.: n.p., 1912. 

Buckstaff Baths Hot Springs , Arkansas 1912 . Indianapolis, Indiana: 
Catalog Service Corporation, 1912. 

Buel, James William and Joseph A. Dacus. A Tour of St. Louis or the 
Inside Life of a Great City . St. Louis, Missouri: Western 
Publishing Co. , 1878. 

Business Men's League of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Hot Springs , 
Arkansas . Owned by the United States Government : The World's 
Greatest Sanitarium and All- Year - Round Health and Pleasure Resort . 
np.:np, ca. 1915. 

Come to Hot Springs -- 'The Nation's Health Resort ' -- and Bathe at the 
Fordyce Baths ! Hot Springs, Arkansas: Fordyce Bathhouse, ca. 
1915. 

Coulter, E. Merton. 10 vols. A History of the South . Edited by Wendell 
Holmes Stephenson. Vol. 8, The South During Reconstruction 
1865-1877 . Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1947. 

Cox, James. Old and New St . Louis . St. Louis, Missouri: Central 
Biographical Publishing Company, 1894. 

Cromwell, Neyland, Turemper, Millett and Gatchell, Inc. "Historic 
Structure Report, Hot Springs National Park." Unpublished report 
on file at Hot Springs National Park, 1973. 

Cron, Frederick W. "The Hot Springs of the Ouachita." (Manuscript on 
file at the Garland County Historical Society and Hot Springs 
National Park.) Gatlinburg, Tennessee, 1946. 

. Mineral Waters at Hot Springs , Arkansas . n.p.: n.p., 1939. 



307 



Cushing, Paul. Hot Springs , Arkansas : An Impressionist Sketch by 
Paul Cushing . Chicago: Rock Island System, 1903. 

Cutter, John Milton, ed . and comp., Cutter's Official Guide to Hot 

Springs , Arkansas and the United States Government Reservation : 

The World's Greatest Health Resort . 57th ed. n.p.: Charles Cutter 
and Son, 1913. 

Dean, Patricia. "The True Carlsbad of America: The Hotel Broadwater 
and Natatorium of Helena, Montana." In Victorian Resorts and 
Hotels : Essays from a Victorian Society Autumn Symposium , edited 
by Richard Guy Wilson. n.p.: The Victorian Society in America, 
1982. 

Dieffenbach, William H. Hydrotherapy : A Brief Summary of the Practical 
Value of Water m Disease for Students and Practicians of Medicine . 
New York, New York: Rebman Co., 1909. 

EBS Management Consultants Incorporated. General Business Study for 
Hot Springs Bath House Association . New York: EBS Management 
Consultants Incorporated, 1965. 

Elbert Hubbard. A Little Journey to the Maurice Baths . East Aurora, 
New York: The Roycrofters, 1913. 

Featherstonhaugh, George W. Featherstonhaugh's Excursion Through the 
Slave States . London: John Murray, 1844. 

Fletcher, John Gould. Arkansas . Cnapel Hill, North Carolina: The 
University of North Carolina Press, 1947. 

Fletcher, George B. Treatment of Conditions Affecting the General 
Nervous System : The Place of Health Resort Therapy . n.p.: 
American Medical Assoc, 1944. 

Flint, Timothy. The History and Geography of the Mississippi Valley to 
which [s Appended a Condensed Physical Geography of the Atlantic 
United States , and the Whole American Continent . 2 vols.; 
Cincinnati, Ohio: E.H. Flint and L.H. Lincoln, 1832. 

Fordyce, John R. "Hot Springs National Park: Archeology, Legends and 
History in the Evolution of the Bath." Area and Service History 
1900-1952 File, Hot Springs National Park, 1933 (Typewritten). 

Fortier, Alcee. A History of Louisiana . Vol. 1, Early Explorations and 
the Domination of the French , 1512-1768 and vol. 2, The Spanish 
Domination and the Cession to the United States , 1769-1803 . New 
York, New York: Manzi, Joyant, and Co., 1904. 

Louisiana: Comprising Sketches of Parishes , Towns, Events, 



Institutions, and Persons . Arranged in Cyclopedic Form . 2 vols 
Madison, Wisconsin: Century Historical Association, 1914. 



308 



Freeman, Larry. Spa Fever . Watkins Glen, New York: Century House 
Publishers, 1891. 

French, Benjamin Franklin, ed . and trans., Historical Collections of 
Louisiana Embracing the Translations of Many Rare and Valuable 
Documents Relating to the Natural , Civil and Political History of that 
State Compiled with Historical and Biographical Notes . 5 vols. New 
York, New York: Redfield, 1952. 

Garnett, Algernon S. A Treatise on the Hot Springs of Arkansas . St. 
Louis, Missouri: Van Beck, Barnard, and Tinsley Printers, 1874. 

Gebhard, David, et al. Architecture j_n San Francisco & Northern 
California . Santa Barbara: Peregrine Smith, Inc., 1973. 

Gebhart, J.L. On the Therapy of the Waters of Hot Springs , Arkansas , 
and Their Relation to the Medical Profession at Large . St. Louis: 
N.p., 1881. 

Gilluly, James, Arron C. Waters, and Alfred Osward Woodford. The 
Principles of Geology . San Francisco, California: W.H. Freeman 
and Company, 1959. 

Giraud, Marcel. A History of French Louisiana . Translated by Joseph 
C. Lambert. 4 vols. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State 
University Press, 1974. 

Gregg, H. Raymond. "Coordination of Hydrotherapy Services and Medical 
Practice at Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas." Paper presented 
at the 1961 meeting of the Association of American Spas at Hollywood 
Beach, Florida. 2 November 1961. 

The Hale Baths , n.p. : n.p. , circa 1960. 

Hampton, Roy F. Charles L.. Thompson and Associates : Arkansas 
Architects 1885-1938 . Little Rock, Arkansas: August House, 1983. 

Hanor, Jeffrey S. Fire jjn Folded Rocks : Geology of Hot Springs 
National Park . n.p.: Eastern National Park and Monument 
Association, 1980. 

Hatton, John, comp. Bath : Britain's Historic Spa : Official Handbook , 
n.p.: Corporation of Bath, n.d. 

Hempstead, Fay. A Pictorial History of Arkansas from Earliest Times to 
the Year 1890 . St. Louis, Missouri: N.D. Thompson Publishing 
Company, 1890. 

. Historical Review of Arkansas : Its Commerce , Industry and 

Modern Affairs , vol. 1. Chicago, Illinois: The Lewis Publishing 
Company, 1911. 



309 



Herndon, Dallas T. Centennial History of Arkansas , vol 1. Chicago, 
Illinois: The S.J. Clark Publishing Co., 1922. 

Hogaboom, George E. The Buckstaff Baths , N.p.: n.p., 1944. 

Hosmer, Charles B. Preservation Comes of Age . Charlottesville, 
Virginia: University of Virginia Press, 1981. 

Hot Springs , Arkansas : Its Hotels , Baths , Resorts and Beautiful 
Scenery , Illustrated . St. Louis, Missouri: Press of the Woodward 
and Tierman Printing Company, 1892. 

Hot Springs , Arkansas : The World's Greatest Health and Pleasure 
Resort , n.p.: n.p., ca. 1917. 

The Hot Springs of Arkansas : America's Baden - Baden ( Illustrated ): 
Where jt j_s; What ]t j_s and How to Get There . St. Louis, Missouri: 
St. Louis Iron Mountain and Southern Railway Co., 1877. 

Hubbard, Elbert. A Little Journey to the Maurice Baths . East Aurora, 
NY: The Roycrofters, 1913. 

Keyes, Edward Lawrence and William Holme Van Buren. A Practical 



Treatise on the Surgical Diseases of the Genito-Urinary Organs , 
including Syphilis . Designed as a Manual for Student and 
Practicioners with Engravings and Cases . New York, New York: 
D. Appleton and Company, 1884. 

Kornbleueh, Igho Hart. Spas and Health Resorts in the U.S.S. R . . 
N.p.: Clinical Medicine Publications, Inc., 1960. 

Kronenberger, Louis. Kings and Desperate Men : Life In 

Eighteenth-Century England . New York, New York: Vintage 
Books, 1942. 

Lindsley, Chester S. "The Chronology of Yellowstone National Park: 
1806-1939," n.p. , n.d. 

Lyon, Marquerite. Hurrah for Arkansas! New York, New York: The 
Bobbs-Merril Company, 1947. 

The Maurice Baths . Memphis, Tennessee: S.C. Toof & Co., n.d. 

McClellan, Walter S. "American Spas and Organized Medicine." Paper 
presented at the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Association of American 
Spas, Marling, Texas, 7 October 1959. 

McDermott, John Francis, ed . The Spanish in the Mississippi Valley , 
1762-1804 . Urbana, lllionis: University of Illinois Press, 1974. 

• The Western Journals of Dr. George Hunter , 1796-1805 . New 

Series, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society Held at 



310 



Philadelphia for Promoting Useful Knowledge, vol. 53. part 4. 
Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society, 1963. 

McWilliams, Richebourg Gaillard. Fleur de Lys and Calmet : Being the 
Penicaut Narrative of French Adventure in Louisiana . Baton Rouge: 
Louisiana State University, 1953. 

Manns, Timothy, Yellowstone National Park Historian, letter to Laura 
Soulliere Harrison, January 9, 1987. 

Melder, F. Eugene. "The Tin Lizzie's 1 Golden Anniversary," in The 
American Culture : Approaches to the Study of the United States , 
ed. Hennig Cohen. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Co., 
1968. 

Meyers, Rose. A History of Baton Rouge , 1699-1812 . Baton Rouge, 
Louisiana State University, 1976. 

Miller, James Wilbert. "The Spanish Commandant of Baton Rouge, 
1799-1795." Master's thesis, Louisiana State University, 1964. 

Missouri Pacific Lines, Winter Travel Guide . N.p.: n.p., ca. 1930. 

Moore, John Preston. Revolt [n Louisiana : The Spanish Occupation , 
1766-1779 . Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University 
Press, 1976. 

Morison, Samuel Eliot. The Oxford History of the American People . New 
York, New York: Oxford University Press, 1965. 

Morton, Henry H. Genitourinary Diseases and Syphillis . St. Louis, 
Missouri: C.V. Mosby Co., 1918. 

Nash, Bert. Hot Springs National Park : The Valley of the Vapors . 
Texarkana, Texas: A Husseman-Nash Production, 1947. 

Norsworthy, Stanley Frank. "Hot Springs, Arkansas: A Geographic 
Analysis of the Spa's Resort Service Area." Ph.D. dissertation, 
University of California at Los Angeles, 1970. 

Northrop, Henry Davenport. The World's Fair as Seen [n One Hundred 
Days . Containing a Complete History of the World's Columbian 
Exposition ; Captivating Descriptions of the Magnificent Buildings and 
Marvelous Exhibits , such as Works of Art , Textile Fabrics , 
Machinery , Natural Products , The Latest Inventions , Discoveries , 
etc . , etc . , Including a Full Description of Chicago , Its Wonderful 
Buildings , Parks , etc . Chicago: The Standard Publishing Co., 
1893. 

Nuttall, Thomas. A Journal of Travels into Arkansas Territory During 
the Year 1819 . ed . Savoie Lottinville. Norman, Oklahoma: 
University of Oklahoma Press, 1979. 



311 



Ogg, Frederic Austin. The Opening of the Mississippi : A Struggle for 
Supremacy in the American Interior . New York, New York: Cooper 
Square Publishers, Inc., 1968. 

Pitts and Associates Engineers, P. A., and Witsell and Evans, 
Architects-Planners. "Interior Report, Phase Two, Testing on Site, 
Investigative Study of Five Bathhouses." Unpublished report on file 
at Hot Springs National Park, 1984. 

Pitts and Associates Engineers, P. A. and Witsell and Evans, 

Architects-Planners. "Interim Report, Phase Three, Engineering 

Study of Quapaw Bathhouse." Unpublished report on file at Hot 
Springs National Park, 1985. 

Reedy, William Marion. The Hot Springs of Arkansas : The Nation's 
Fashionable Playground ; Nature's Greatest Sanitarium . St. Louis: 
The Passenger Traffic Department of the Missouri Pacific-Iron 
Mountain, 1914. 

Robertson, Donald Sturon. Greek and Roman Architecture . New York, 
New York: Cambridge University Press, 1969. 

Rowland, Erow, comp. Life , Letters and Papers of William Dunbar of 
Elgin , Morayshire , Scotland , and Natchez , Mississippi : Pioneer 
Scientist of the Southern United States . Jackson, Mississippi: 
Press of the Mississippi Historical Society, 1930. 

Roy, F. Hampton. Charles L_. Thompson and Associates : Arkansas 
Architects 1885 - 1938 . Little Rock: August House, 1983. 

Schwab, Eugene L., ed . Travels in the Old South : Selected From 
Periodicals of the Times . 2 vols. Lexington, Kentucky: The 
University of Kentucky Press, 1973. 

Scroggs, William O. Early Trade and Travel in the Lower Mississippi 
Valley . Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Ortieb's Printing House, 1911. 

Scully, Francis J. Hot Springs , Arkansas and Hot Springs National 
Park : The Story of a City and the Nation's Health Resort . Little 
Rock, Arkansas: Pioneer Press, 1966. 

Stevens, E.B. "Hot Springs, Arkansas." Transactions of the 

Thirty - First Annual Meeting of the Ohio State Medical Society Held at 
the Put-Un-Bay, June 21, 22, 1876 . 31 (1876): 190-205. 

Stiles, Wilson. "An Historical Data Section for an Historic Structure 
Report on the Fordyce Bathhouse, Arkansas Hot Springs." 
Unpublished report on file at Hoi Springs National Park, 1982. 

Stoddard, Amos. Sketches , Historical and Descriptive of Louisiana . New 
York, New York: AMS Press, 1973; orig. pub. Philadelphia: 
Mathew Carey, 1812. 



312 



Thomas, David Y., ed . , Arkansas and Its People . New York, New York: 
American Historical Society, 1930. 

Van Buren, William H. and Edward L. Keyes. A Practical Treatise on the 
Surgical Diseases of the Genito - Urinary Organs , including Syphilis . 
Designed as a Manual for Student and Practitioners with Engravings 
and Cases . New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1884. 

Van Cleef, A. The Hot Springs of Arkansas , 1878 . 1878; reprint ed. 
Golden, CO: Outbooks, 1981. 

Wallace, Joseph. The History of Illinois Under the French Rule 
Embracing a General View of the Dominion in North America with 
Some Account of the English Occupation of Illinois . Cincinnati, 
Ohio: Robert Clarke Company, 1899. 

Whitaker, Arther Preston. The Mississippi Question , 1719 - 1803 : A Study 
[n Trade , Politics , and Diplomacy . Glouster Mass.: Peter Smith, 
1962. 

White, Lonnie J. Politics on the Southern Frontier : Arkansas Territory 
1819 - 1836 . Memphis, Tennessee: Memphis State University Press, 
1964. 

Whitwell, William Livingston and Lee W. Winborne. The Architectural 
Heritage of the Roanoke Valley . Charlottesville, Virginia: 
University of Virginia Press, 1982. 

Wilkens, Emily. Secrets from the Super Spas . New York, New York: 
Grossett and Dunlap, 1976. 

Works Projects Administration. Arkansas : A Guide to the State . New 
York, New York: Hastings House, 1941. 

Wright, Rebekah. Hydrotherapy un Psychiatric Hospitals . Boston, 
Mass.: The Tudor Press, 1940. 

Ye Hot Springs , Ark . Picture Book . St. Louis, Missouri: Press of the 
Woodward and Tierman Printing Company, 1894. 



313 



As the nation's principal conservation agency, the Department of the 
Interior has basic responsibilities to protect and conserve our land and 
water, energy and minerals, fish and wildlife, parks and recreation 
areas, and to ensure the wise use of all these resources. The 
department also has major responsibility for American Indian reservation 
communities and for people who live in island territories under U.S. 
administration . 

Publication services were provided by the graphics and editorial staffs of 
the Denver Service Center. NPS D-81 June 1988 



US GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE:1988-575-822(85171